Watch out for those eyes

Watch out for those eyes

Eye health is an often neglected subject even though it is one of the most precious assets we possess.

Our eyes play a big part in making sure that we live a cherished life, a life that enables us to see and do all that we love without feeling limited or being dependent on external help. In spite of it, few of us who pay conscious heed to eye care in our daily lives let alone be proactive about it. Until recently, most of us believed that age- related sight problems were a fact of life, as inescapable as aging itself. 

Many lifestyle factors have the potential to impact, both positively and negatively,  the health of our eyes. Ageing is predominantly the most influential factor of eye health and function. However, in a rapidly developing society, with the additional (somewhat unnatural) stress being placed on our eyes from computers and other visual aids, the risk of contracting a disease is higher at a younger age.

Various risk factors that could lead to eye ailments include  poor nutrition, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, UV exposure and family history of certain diseases.

While conditions such as cataract and glaucoma and diabetes have been found to cause significant damage to the eyes, investing a little time and effort in caring for your eyes on a day-to-day basis can help stall eye impairment in the long term.
Given below are tips on how to care for the eyes in our everyday lives:

*Eating healthy: Vitamin A, C and E, found in green leafy vegetables, papaya, tomato, carrot, fish and coloured fruits and vegetables supply essential nutrients to the eyes. Hydration is also very important for eye care. Drinking water will prevent the eyes from looking puffy. It is especially important for those working in air-conditioned environments as they cause dehydration faster. Avoiding smoking and drinking moderately also lend well to eye health.

*Screen your eyes from UV: The use of protective eyewear such as sun glasses and  spectacles protect the eyes from harsh light, dust and UV rays. This is especially so if your lifestyle involves prolonged exposure to televisions and computers, frequent travelling or driving.

When purchasing sunglasses, look for those that offer UVA and UVB protection. Higher-priced sunglasses contain polycarbonate, which have the potential to block out 100 per cent of the UV rays.

*Optimal use of light: Using light effectively can go a long way in protecting the eyes. While reading, ensure that the light source is position behind your head and the reading material is placed12- 14 inches away from the face. Watch TV in a well-lit room. White light is ideal. Preferred viewing distance is 4 metres or more.

Computers should be placed either at eye level or slightly lower so as to minimise reflection and glare. The recommended distance between the monitor and the eye for children is 18-28 inches.

*Ctrl+alt+del your eyes: Increasing use of computers undoubtedly puts stress and strain on your eyes. Prolonged use of computers can result in a variety of symptoms known as computer vision syndrome (CVS). In order to reduce eye strain associated with computers:

*Get an eye exam

*Use proper lighting and minimise glare

*Blink more often

*Take frequent breaks from sitting in front of the TV or computer.

*Play it safe: According to physicians who conducted the 2008 Eye Injury Snapshot by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma, more than 40 per cent of patients treated for eye injuries sustained at home were involved in home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. Use common sense and err on the side of caution, whatever the activity. Consider the risk of flying debris or other objects during activities and wear appropriate eye protection. If you wear contacts or eyeglasses, pack a back-up form of vision correction during bike trips or other activities where you could lose or shatter a lens.

*Cosmetics safety: Cosmetics to enhance the appearance of their eyes can cause an allergic reaction, infection or injury of the eye or eyelids. Never share eye make up and when sampling makeup in stores, use only fresh applicators. Before applying makeup, ensure your face and eyelids are  clean. Always apply makeup outside the lash line, away from the eye, to avoid blocking the oil glands of the upper or lower eyelid.

Remove all eye make up before sleeping, especially mascara that can stick to the lashes. Do not use make up if you have any discharge or irritation in your eyes.
Routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or physical health. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor does much more than just determine your prescription. He will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Adults should have their eyes tested to keep their prescriptions current and to check for early signs of disease. And eye exams for children play an important role in ensuring normal vision development and academic achievement of all kids.
Taking charge of eye health today can ensure a bright tomorrow, as bright and clear and full of possibilities as your today.

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