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Can You Improve Your Eyesight and if So, How?

  • 29 September, 2023

    Can You Improve Your Eyesight and if So, How?

    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.

    How to Improve Eyesight: Strategies for Maintaining Clear Vision

    Understand Age-Related Vision Changes

    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.

    Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

    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.

    Regular Eye Exams

    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.

    Protect Your Eyes from Harmful Factors

    a. Wear Sunglasses

    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.

    b. Wear Eye 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.

    c. Limit Screen Time and Use Computer Glasses

    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.

    Handle Contact Lenses with Care

    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.

    Know Your Family Medical History

    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.

    Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure and Weight

    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.

    Hygiene Practises for Optimal Eye Health: Preventing Infections and Irritation

    Hygiene Practises for Optimal Eye Health: Preventing Infections and Irritation

    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:

    1. Wash Your Hands Regularly

    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.

    2. Proper Contact Lens Care

    If you wear contact lenses, it’s crucial to handle and care for them properly to avoid complications. Follow these tips:

    1. Cleanliness : Clean your contact lenses as instructed by your optometrist and lens manufacturer. Use recommended contact lens solutions and avoid using tap water or saliva to clean them.
    2. Storage: Store your contact lenses in a clean contact lens case, ensuring it is properly disinfected and replaced regularly.
    3. Replace as Instructed: Follow your optometrists instructions on when to replace your contact lenses. Overusing or wearing expired lenses increases the risk of eye infections and irritation.
    4. Avoid Sleeping or Swimming with Lenses: Remove your contact lenses before sleeping or swimming to reduce the risk of eye infections and corneal damage.

    3. Avoid Touching or Rubbing Your Eyes

    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.

    4. Protect Your Eyes from Irritants

    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.

    healthy diet

    Healthy Diet for Healthy Eyes: Nutritional Strategies for Vision Improvement

    A nutritious diet plays a vital role in maintaining healthy eyes and promoting optimal vision.

    Consider incorporating the following key nutrients into your diet:

    1. Vitamin C-rich Food: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the eyes against age-related eye diseases. Citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin C.
    2. Leafy Greens: Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, are rich in nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of developing AMD.
    3. Colourful Vegetables: Opt for vibrant, colourful vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers. They contain high levels of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining good vision and supporting overall eye health.
    4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, flaxseed and walnuts contribute to eye health. These fatty acids help prevent dry eyes and some studies have shown an ability to reduce the risk of AMD.
    5. Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Include antioxidant-rich foods in your diet to protect your eyes from oxidative stress. Blueberries, carrots, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers are examples of foods that contain antioxidants beneficial for eye health.
    healthy weight

    Lifestyle Modifications for Slowing Down Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Progression

    1. Quit Smoking

    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.

    2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    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.

    3. Manage Chronic Conditions

    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.

    4. Protect Your Eyes from UV Radiation

    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.

    5. Exercise Regularly

    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.

    6. Control Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

    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: Glasses, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Surgery Options

    Corrective measures are available to improve vision and address refractive errors. These options include:

    1. Glasses: Prescription glasses are a common and effective solution for vision correction. Visit an optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the appropriate prescription for your needs.
    2. Contact Lenses: Contact lenses provide an alternative to glasses and offer a wider field of view. They come in various types, such as daily disposables, extended wear, or rigid gas-permeable lenses. Consult an eye care professional to find the most suitable contact lenses for your eyes and lifestyle.
    3. Refractive Surgery: Refractive surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, reshapes the cornea to correct refractive errors like near-sightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These procedures are performed by qualified ophthalmologists and can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.

    Prioritise Your Eye Health: Take Steps Towards Better Vision with EyeQ

    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!

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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.