Take Charge of Your Health - The Eye's Have It
The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon.
We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Eye's Have It - Eye Health
Surfer’s Eyes…huh? How did that happen? It’s not just a California thing, apparently my less than graceful surfing attempt that probably caused nothing other than laughter on the east coast beach of my youth, caused harm to my eyes. And I thought it was eye strain! While metaphorically our eyes may be the window to our soul, practically they enable us to drive, to read and provide an independence that we often take for granted.
So how can we protect this valuable resource? The Harvard Health Letter suggests 6 ways to improve and protect our vision. None are particularly surprising, but it is a good reminder especially as we are getting busy heading into the holiday season and thinking of our upcoming New Year’s Resolutions and what we might do to keep ourselves healthy.
First, get regular eye exams. Many suggest every two years before age 70 is adequate unless you have specific problems with your eyes.
Second, control the underlying health conditions that can harm your vision. The diabetic retinopathy that can occur with poorly controlled diabetes can lead to retinal detachment and scar tissue. Elevated blood pressure also has risks to your vision.
Third, like so many other wellness recommendations, eat a healthy diet. Foods that are good for your heart and blood vessels are also protective of your eyes. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research has shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
Fourth, no smoking. Smoking is the #1 cause of age-related macular degeneration, which in turn leads to the loss of central vision.
Fifth, use eye drops to relieve the feelings associated with dry eyes. Be sure to take breaks from your computer and to remember to blink which lubricates the eyes naturally. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.
Sixth, use eye protection. UV protection is as important for your eyes as it is for your skin. UV rays can increase the risk of cataract formation or cancer on the eyelids. Also, when working on those home improvement projects using safely glasses can protect your eyes from a multitude of potential injuries.
Also, be sure to clean your hands and your contact lenses properly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.
Like all other health conditions, it is important to know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members because many eye conditions are hereditary, and it is important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition.
As one of our five senses, it is important to treat our eyes and our vision as the gift it is.
As always, join us on the Health-E³ website blog page. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences. Check out our newest page on Personalized Care. Feel free to ask a question about anything on the website or suggest ideas for additional helpful information. And remember, it's up to you to Take Charge of Your Health.