Why You Should Be Taking Better Care of Your Eyes

Your eyes play an important role in your overall health. Therefore, it’s vital that you look after them. Your vision will naturally deteriorate over time, so you need to safeguard it now.

Here, we will take a look at the main reasons why you need to take better care of your eyes and some ways to help maintain their health.

Eye Health

Your vision really does matter, so don’t take it for granted. Sight is the sense that most people fear losing, yet most of us don’t know how to look after our eyes. More than 2.9 million Americans are legally blind and nearly 4.2 million are visually impaired.[1][2]

Eye Diseases

If you neglect your eyes, you run the risk of developing the following conditions:

Cataracts

Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 and over. By the age of 75, almost half of all Americans have cataracts.[3]

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Glaucoma

2.7 million Americans aged 40 and over are affected by glaucoma.[4] Glaucoma is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye, which then affects vision.

The four main types of glaucoma are:

Chronic open-angle glaucoma

The most common type of glaucoma, which develops slowly over a long time period

Primary angle-closure glaucoma

This rare type of glaucoma generally occurs slowly but can develop at a rapid rate, causing a painful build-up of pressure in and around the eye.

Secondary glaucoma

This mainly occurs as a result of an existing eye injury or condition.

Developed glaucoma

Also known as congenital glaucoma, this rare but serious type of glaucoma occurs mostly in children.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Recent research shows that nearly 2.1 million Americans aged 50 and over have late AMD. At this stage, the disease can lead to severe visual impairment.[5]

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy affects nearly 7.7 million Americans aged 40 and over and studies show that it’s on the increase.[6] In fact, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, with 27% of them (8.1 million) unaware that they have the disease.[7]

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It’s also worth noting that whilst you can’t avoid hereditary conditions, you can take measures to manage them early on. Talk to your family about their eye history and determine if anyone has been diagnosed with a hereditary disease or condition.

Let’s take a look at ways you can help maintain healthy eyes.

Eat for Good Vision

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, and particularly leafy greens like spinach and kale, can help keep your eyes healthy. Research has also shown that there are direct eye-health benefits from eating oily fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut.

Read our post on simple ways to boost your immune system for more information on superfoods.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese increases your chance of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to loss of vision through diabetic eye disease and glaucoma. For advice on how to achieve a healthy weight, seek the advice of a medical professional.

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Quit Smoking

Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States.[8]

Recent research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related degeneration and cataracts, which can lead to a complete lack of vision. Smoking is also a direct cause of Type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.[9]

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory; they also protect your eyes from the sun’s natural UV rays. UV protected sunglasses block out 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation, so make sure to have them close to hand.

Use Safety Eyewear

Practice workplace eye safety. Safety goggles are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. If you have to wear protective eyewear on a day-to-day basis, don’t become negligent. The same goes for when you participate in sports and DIY activities.

Research suggests that 2.4 million eye injuries occur every year in the United States.[10] Protective eyewear can prevent 90% of eye injuries.[11] It only takes one time not wearing the glasses for an accident to happen. Don’t put yourself and your vision at unnecessary risk.

Give Your Eyes a Rest

If you spend a large proportion of your day staring at a computer or focussing on one thing, you are putting your eyes under considerable strain. Simply put, your eyes get fatigued.

A simple way to rectify this is to use the 20-20-20 method: every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet away from the screen or object for 20 seconds. This will help to reduce eye strain.

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Have Your Eyes Examined Regularly

The best thing to do if you’re concerned about your eyesight is to seek the advice of an eye-care specialist and have a comprehensive eye exam. It is recommended that most people have their eyes tested every two years. However, in some circumstances it is better to go more often.

A sight test can help detect early signs of eye disease like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough. Sight tests can also help identify health concerns like diabetes and high blood pressure.

They can also tell you if you are suffering from a refractive error. These include:

Myopia – Commonly known as near-sightedness

Hyperopia – You may know this as far-sightedness

Astigmatism – A combination of the above two refractive errors which causes blurry vision

Care for Your Eyes

Antiaging Nutrition stocks a wide range of products designed to take better care of your eyes. Shop online and discover how easy it is to safeguard your vision.

Discover more about how to maintain healthy eyes in our interview with Russian bop-physicist Dr Mark Babizhayev. For more information on maintaining your health, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter.

[1] https://www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata/blind

[2] https://www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata/lowvision

[3] https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/cataract

[4] https://www.nei.nih.gov/eyedata/glaucoma

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19365036

[6] https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/diabetic

[7] http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics/2014StatisticsReport.html

[8] http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/

[9] http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/

[10] http://www.preventblindness.org/eye-safety-home

[11] http://www.preventblindness.org/preventing-eye-injuries