29 September, 2023
Our eyes are a precious gift, allowing us to perceive the world around us. Yet, many of us take our vision for granted until we experience problems. Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other eye diseases can significantly impact our vision. The good news is that there are steps we can take to improve our eyesight and maintain healthy eyes. In this article, we will explore various methods to enhance your eyesight naturally and protect your eyes from potential hazards.
As we age, our vision naturally undergoes changes. The National Eye Institute explains that the following age-related eye diseases and conditions are common: age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic eye disease, and glaucoma. While some vision changes are inevitable, certain practises can help preserve our eyesight.
Taking care of your overall health can positively impact your eye health. Start by adopting a balanced diet that includes eye-friendly nutrients. Leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, fish, flaxseed, and walnuts, have been found to be beneficial for eye health.
Visiting an eye doctor regularly is crucial for maintaining good eye health. Even if you don’t currently have vision problems, comprehensive eye exams can detect any underlying conditions and identify refractive errors. Your optometrist may recommend a dilated eye examination to evaluate the health of your eyes thoroughly. These examinations help detect early signs of eye diseases and allow for timely intervention.
Exposing your eyes to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can increase the risk of developing eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Look for sunglasses labelled with UV400 or 100% UV protection.
Whether you’re engaged in hazardous activities or participating in sports, wearing protective eyewear is essential. Safety glasses or goggles shield your eyes from potential injuries caused by flying debris, chemicals, or high-impact collisions. By protecting your eyes, you reduce the risk of severe damage that could lead to vision loss.
In our digital age, many of us spend long hours in front of screens, leading to eye strain and computer vision syndrome. To alleviate these issues, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Prescription lenses with a blue light filter can also help reduce eye strain.
Contact lenses provide vision correction, but improper handling can lead to eye infections and other complications. Always wash your hands before inserting or removing contact lenses. Follow the recommended cleaning and disinfection routines provided by your optometrist and contact lens manufacturer. It’s also important to replace your lenses as instructed and avoid wearing them while swimming or sleeping.
Certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, have a genetic component. Familiarise yourself with your family’s medical history to determine if you are at a higher risk of developing these conditions. By being aware, you can take proactive steps to monitor and manage your eye health effectively.
High blood pressure and obesity can negatively affect your eyesight. Both conditions contribute to poor blood flow, which can harm the small blood vessels in the eyes. By managing your blood pressure through lifestyle changes or medication, and maintaining a healthy weight, you reduce the risk of eye-related complications.
Maintaining good hygiene practises is essential for preserving your eye health and preventing infections and irritation. By following these simple guidelines, you can protect your eyes from potential harm:
Before touching your eyes or handling contact lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Clean hands reduce the risk of transferring harmful bacteria or viruses to your eyes, preventing eye infections.
If you wear contact lenses, it’s crucial to handle and care for them properly to avoid complications. Follow these tips:
Touching or rubbing your eyes with dirty hands can introduce bacteria and cause irritation or infections. Whenever you feel the urge to rub your eyes, try using a clean tissue or a soft, damp cloth to alleviate discomfort. If your eyes are itchy and you have a history of allergies a topical anti-histamine eye drop may help provide relief.
Be cautious when exposed to irritants such as dust, smoke, and chemical fumes. These substances can cause redness, itching, and irritation. Whenever possible, wear protective eyewear, such as safety glasses or goggles, to shield your eyes from potential harm.
A nutritious diet plays a vital role in maintaining healthy eyes and promoting optimal vision.
Consider incorporating the following key nutrients into your diet:
Smoking is a significant risk factor for AMD and can accelerate its progression. Chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the blood vessels in the retina, impairing proper blood flow to the macula. By quitting smoking, you not only reduce your risk of developing AMD but also slow down its advancement if you already have the disease.
Obesity and excess body weight have been associated with an increased risk of developing AMD and its progression. A healthy weight can help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and support overall eye health. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine and follow a balanced diet to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Certain chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, can contribute to the progression of AMD. It’s crucial to manage these conditions effectively through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical check-ups. Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for controlling these conditions, as it can significantly impact the progression of AMD.
Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, particularly UV-A and UV-B rays, can contribute to the development and progression of AMD. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays whenever you are outdoors, even on cloudy days. Additionally, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat for added protection.
Regular physical exercise has been associated with a lower risk of developing AMD and slowing down its progression. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling, on most days of the week. Exercise promotes better blood circulation, which is vital for delivering nutrients and oxygen to the macula.
High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels can adversely affect the blood vessels in the retina, compromising the health of the macula. Take steps to manage your blood pressure and cholesterol through lifestyle modifications, such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking prescribed medications as directed by your healthcare provider.
By implementing these lifestyle modifications, you can significantly slow down the progression of AMD and support the long-term health of your eyes. However, it’s important to note that these changes should be made in consultation with your eye care professional and healthcare provider to ensure they are appropriate for your specific condition and overall health.
Regular comprehensive eye exams are also essential for monitoring the progression of AMD and making any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.
Corrective measures are available to improve vision and address refractive errors. These options include:
While certain eye conditions cannot be reversed, there are proactive steps you can take to improve your eyesight naturally and safeguard your eyes from potential harm. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and proper eye care habits, you can significantly enhance your eye health and reduce the risk of vision problems. Remember to prioritise regular visits to your optometrist for comprehensive eye exams and professional guidance tailored to your individual needs.
Take the next step towards optimal eye health by booking a consultation with us at your nearest EyeQ practice. Our experts will provide personalised care and guidance to address your specific needs. Whether you require routine eye examinations, specialised care for eye conditions, or vision correction solutions, our dedicated practitioners are here to help.
Don’t wait any longer—prioritise your eye health and book your consultation with EyeQ today!
Our contact lens provider Alcon is experiencing delays fulfilling orders due to a cyber-security incident involving their freight partner, Toll Group. These delays are across their entire network of optical retailers in Australia. We apologise for an inconvenience caused and encourage you to contact your local EyeQ practice for any urgent requirements.