5 Healthy Habits for Preserving Your Eye Health

The importance of maintaining good eye health cannot be overstated, yet it is often overlooked in our daily lives. In fact, according to an article from the Global Health Science and Practice journal, an estimated 1 billion individuals lived with preventable or treatable visual impairment globally in 2020. The same article highlights that visual impairment costs patients, their families, and communities worldwide more than $3 trillion annually. 

Adopting healthy eye habits can significantly contribute to preserving vision and preventing eye-related issues. This article explores five habits that individuals can incorporate into their routines to safeguard their eye health for the long term. 

5 habits for good eye health

Follow the 20-20-20 rule

With the prevalence of digital devices, managing digital eye strain has become essential for preserving eye health. To reduce eye strain associated with prolonged screen time, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at an object 20 feet away. Additionally, adjust screen brightness, use anti-glare filters, and position your monitor or TV at eye level to minimize discomfort. These, along with the 20-20-20 rule and blinking frequently, are simple yet effective strategies to alleviate symptoms of digital eye strain. 

Wear sunglasses for sun protection

Protracted exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can contribute to the development of cataracts, and, though rare, excessive UV light exposure can also increase the risk of developing cancers in the eye. Wearing sunglasses that block out 100% of UVA and UVB rays helps protect the eyes from harmful sun exposure. Look for sunglasses labeled with UV protection, and consider wide-brimmed hats for added protection against direct sunlight to reduce the risk of UV-related eye damage over time. 

Undergo regular eye exams 

There’s a common misconception that worsening eyesight due to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma is an inevitable part of aging. However, according to ophthalmologist Dr. Joshua Ehrlich, this isn’t necessarily true as the previously mentioned diseases are all preventable or treatable if they are caught early. This is one of the reasons why it’s important to undergo regular eye tests. Opt for a provider that has a variety of eye test packages ranging from a basic exam that assesses visual acuity to specialized tests for diabetes eye care.

Regular eye tests provide a baseline for an individual’s vision and eye health. By monitoring changes over time, optometrists can identify subtle shifts in vision and prescribe corrective measures or adjustments as needed. This proactive approach helps in addressing issues before they become more severe. Moreover, eye tests can be booked online, making it easier to adopt this habit. 

Eat eye-healthy foods

While no diet will give you perfect vision, some evidence suggests that there are certain nutrients that are good for eye health. Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals is associated with a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration and other eye conditions. Lutein and zeaxanthin found in kale, in particular, have been found to promote better eye health by protecting against harmful high-energy light waves like UV rays. To efficiently increase your intake of leafy greens, you can incorporate green powders such as those made of kale or spinach into your diet. 

Keep the germs away

Finally, as much as possible, avoid the habit of rubbing or touching the eyes with unwashed hands. Your hands come into contact with various surfaces throughout the day, and touching the eyes introduces potential contaminants directly into the sensitive eye area. This habit can lead to eye infections like conjunctivitis or irritation, which is why maintaining good hand hygiene to preserve overall eye health should not be neglected.

These simple yet effective habits underscore the importance of maintaining optimal eye health. By incorporating these five eye health habits, individuals can take proactive steps to safeguard their vision for a lifetime of clear and healthy eyesight.

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