When we think about our overall health, our minds probably first wander to our fitness, or maybe some of those annoying aches and pains. A part of your body that is ironically overlooked? Your eyes!
Your eyes and eyesight are very important parts of your health. There are many things that you can do to keep them healthy and seeing their best. May these eye care tips and information help you improve and protect your eyesight.
"The eye is the jewel of the body!" -Henry David Thoreau
Open your Eyes with some Stats
20 million people in the UK fail to have regular sight tests
85% admit to having problems with their vision
1/30 people are living with sight loss
25% of parents have said their child has never had an eye test
Brighten up dark under-eye circles and help relieve the stress associated from staring at a screen all day with some acupressure!
Use your thumb or index finger to press on your brow bone above each eye. Hold for thirty seconds and breathe deeply.
Don’t ignore these tell-tale symptoms! At a minimum, to take good care of your eyes, you should make an appointment to see your eye doctor every two years, and more frequently if you are over the age of sixty. However, if you are experiencing any of the following, it might be time to make a call.
Redness: Everyone has eye redness from time to time; it is perfectly normal and expected. However, if the redness lasts more than a day or two, is persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, swelling, or itchiness you might have a more serious issue. You might be suffering from pink eye or a corneal scratch. These are issues an eye doctor would need to treat, and the earlier the better!
Watery Eyes: Much like redness, watery eyes are nothing to be nervous of unless it is a persistent issue. The underlying issues might include tear duct problems, eyelash or eyelid problems, or even an ulcer in your cornea.
Eye Floaters: These are little specks or lines that float across your field of vision. While very common, eye floaters should be taken seriously. If they are occurring more frequently, you also see flashes of light, experience loss of your peripheral vision, or have any eye pain, make an appointment! You might have a tear in the retina or an eye hemorrhage, which can occur due to infection or injury.
Foreign Object in Eye: This one might seem obvious, but if you cannot remove the object by flushing your eye on your own, see a doctor immediately. Always avoid rubbing your eye to remove something that is embedded, you will most likely do more harm than good! Also see your doctor if you are experiencing abnormal vision or still have the sensation of the object in your eye after it has been removed.
Drooping Eyelid: In many cases, drooping eyelids are simply a result of aging or allergies. However, it might also be a sign of diabetes, stroke, or certain cancers. Consult your doctor, especially if this symptom is sudden.
Eye Discharge: Most people experience eye discharge commonly referred to as “sleep in your eyes,” just think about when you wake up in the morning. The time to be concerned is when you see a change in the quantity, colour, or consistency. These changes could be a sign of infection. One of the most common eye infections is pink eye, where a major symptom is thick yellow or green discharge.
Cataracts: These appear as clouds over your pupil and restrict the entry of light into the eye resulting in vision problems. Cataracts should be taken very seriously as they can cause vision loss.
Digital Devices and your Eyes
Computer, tablet, and mobile screens all expose your eyes to blue light. There is concern over the long-term effects you can experience from blue light.
We are affected by blue light due to screen proximity and the time spent looking at digital screens.
You might experience eye fatigue and discomfort if you are often stuck staring at a screen.
There are measures you can take to avoid this eyestrain! Follow these simple eye care tips to protect and improve your eyesight:
Place your screen 50-55 cm away from your eyes and a little below eye level
Change your lighting to a lower glare. There are also glare filters you can purchase to place over your screens
Get an office chair you can adjust
Choose screens that can tilt and swivel to be adjusted
Computer glasses with yellow tinted lenses block blue light
Look Out for Yourself - Tips for taking good care of your eyes
Be Active: regular exercise can help delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of permanent vision loss.
Wear Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the sun even on cloudy days! UV Rays are no joke.
Eat Healthy: A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, as well as omega-3 fatty acids help reduce dry eyes, glaucoma and more. Key foods include carrots and dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale.
No smoking!: Smoking increases the risks of cataracts and other eye diseases. Need help quitting? Check out this article: Stop Smoking - Guide to Quit the Smoke
Hydrate: Your body needs an adequate amount of water to produce tears and keep your eyes moist and nourished.
Wear Safety Goggles: If you are around flying materials/particles, chemicals, or are in an environment where goggles are recommended, wear them! Save your eyes from unnecessary damage, accidents happen all the time.
Schedule Eye Exams: Visit your eye doctor regularly and follow up with them as recommended. It is also helpful to have a good idea of your family’s eye health history.
"The world only exists in your eyes. You can make it as big or as small as you want.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald
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