Posted by: juliegriffey | April 18, 2010

Seven tips for healthier eyes.

How often do you vow to take better care of yourself? Exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, wearing sunscreen, brushing and flossing, are all important behaviors to adopt for better overall health. But how often do you think about your eyes?  Seven simple habits can greatly benefit the health of your eyes, and your overall well-being.

1) Wash Your Hands or Use Hand Sanitizer – Washing hands prevents the spread of viruses such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), a highly-contagious condition. It is not only painful and irritating, it can also be damaging to your vision, even leading to blindness if untreated. Check out Vista Prep by Amcon, an anti-bacterial hand scrub specially formulated for contact lens users.CL hand cleaning

2) Blink – When we watch television or stare at a computer screen, we blink less frequently. Not blinking causes eyestrain, and occasionally leads to fatigue, headaches and double vision. (This is your cue to look away from the screen and blink a few times.)

3) Wear Sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection – ultraviolet light can damage  the inner structures of the eye which can expedite the onset of eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

4) Don’t Smoke – Smoking damages the blood supply which puts you at greater risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts.

5) Eat Fish – According to Dr. Johanna Seddon, of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, there is a high concentration of fatty acids in the retina and consuming oily fish such as salmon and tuna which contain these omega 3 fatty acids, you strengthen the eyes and help lower the risk of macular degeneration.  See: http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/american-life/a-13-2006-07-24-voa29.html

6) Visit your eye doctor on a regular basis. Regular vision checkups help detect the onset of various eye conditions such as cataracts or diseases like glaucoma that are best caught in their early stages.  Eye doctors can even diagnose conditions that aren’t exclusively related to the eye via a standard eye exam, such as diabetes and hypertension, where early detection can be life saving.

7) Visit your eye doctor if your vision changes. This is especially important if you notice “floaters” or flashes of light which are common symptoms of a detached or torn retina.  If caught early, the tear can be repaired via surgery and vision is restored. If left untreated it almost always causes blindness.

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