Have your eye on the ball with these tips on keeping your peepers healthy…
Know your family history
Almost a third of people are unaware that glaucoma and other eye conditions run in their family. Being aware of any hereditary conditions is crucial in understanding the long-term health of your eyes. Speak to your parents and grandparents and ask them these important questions. Knowing a specific condition runs in your family can help you take necessary steps early on in life to prevent your eyes from deteriorating in the future.
Curb the alcohol
Drinking in moderation is actually encouraged to maintain good health, but when combined with smoking and a poor diet, alcohol can lead to visual impairment and damage to the optic nerve. This damage makes colours seem faded. Women should drink no more than three units – or one glass of wine – per day.
Frequent exercise is essential in maintaining a healthy BMI, which in turn is important for keeping our eyes healthy. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly are 70 percent less likely to develop a degenerative eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration. There’s also a much higher chance of developing glaucoma if you don’t get a regular workout.
Watch your waistline
Being overweight can impact the health of our eyes. As they are the only body parts where bare nerves and arteries can be seen without cutting the skin, our eyes can expose tell-tale signs of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which can both be caused by being overweight. Getting cataracts later in life is also linked to a larger waistline.
There is a strong link between smoking and the development of cataracts. In fact, smokers are four times more likely to develop macular degeneration than non-smokers. In addition, a smoker’s risk of developing cataracts goes hand in hand with the number of cigarettes smoked – those who smoke heavily are more likely to develop severe cataracts later in life.
Care at work
For those of us who spend a lot of time staring at computer screens, this is when we neglect our eyes the most. Your screen should be at least 24 inches away from your face. Remember to take breaks away from the screen with the 20-20-20 rule: look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes to reduce eye strain.
Healthy eating is essential for healthy eyes. Foods rich in lutein, a vitamin found in leafy greens such as kale, help delay the onset of cataracts, while foods rich in Omega-3, such as oily fish, are believed to prevent dry eyes. Zinc, which is found in cheese, milk and poultry, is known topromote better vision.
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