When it comes to protecting the health of your eyes, you guessed it, there’s more than meets the eye. Hours spent indoors staring at screens, for work or for leisure, is taking its toll. And while the eye puns are as corneas they get, eye health is no laughing matter. In Australia, more than 450,000 people are currently living with vision impairment or blindness with common causes of vision loss including cataracts and diabetic retinopathy (damage to the retina from diabetes).
According government data, 90 per cent of Australians say that sight is their most valued sense, albeit it an often overlooked aspect of our health. Similarly, 90 per cent of eye related conditions can be prevented, with some relatively simple steps.
So sit back, be a good pupil [eye pun intended], and enjoy a lesson in eye health from Bailey Nelson Eyecare Director and optometrist, Lawrie Jacobson.
Eye would if eye were you…
Give Your Eyes A Break
Spending long periods looking at computer, phone, or tablet screens can strain the eyes. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent this problem. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, a person should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is a great way to reduce eye strain caused by looking at digital screens for too long.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Make sure you’re eating a wide range of healthy foods like veggies and fruit, grains / cereals, lean meats and dairy. This is good for your whole body – and that includes your eyes.
Nutrients like zinc, copper, vitamin C and E, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin are found in foods like fruit and veg, oily fish, beef and eggs – and all help to keep eyes healthy.
We know regular exercise keeps our body healthy, but did you know it’s also a great way to look after your eyes?
Studies show exercise can reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise can also help prevent or manage type two diabetes, high cholesterol or blood pressure.
Quit Smoking For Good
Smoking can lead to vision loss and blindness – another reason to get rid of that habit for good. If you smoke, you’ll be at greater risk of conditions like age related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Manage Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
It’s important to stay on top of diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol diagnosis, because if they’re not managed they can cause sight threatening eye diseases. Diabetes is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the country.
Get A Good Pair Of Sunglasses
It’s no surprise that our eyes are as affected by sun exposure as our skin is. UV exposure can cause eye problems like cataracts and pterygium and can damage the cornea and retina. Larger frames and wrap around glasses offer the best sun protection.
Wear Eye Protection
Your eyes are sensitive so it’s important to protect them from dust, airborne objects, bright lights and chemicals.
Safety glasses are standard personal protective equipment for most people working in construction or on mine sites, but it’s also recommended people wear safety glasses while mowing the lawn, whipper-snipping or using power tools at home.
Have Regular Eye Tests
Just like seeing a doctor for a check-up, an eye test is an important part of looking after ourselves.
As well as measuring and correcting any vision problems an optometrist will also look at the overall health of your eyes.”