Learning how to prevent poor eyesight is becoming a critical undertaking.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 285 million people in the world are considered visually impaired. 39 million are blind and 246 million have what is considered “low” vision.39 million are blind and 246 million have what is considered “low” vision. #PreventPoorEyesight #BetterVisionAlertClick To Tweet
Primary causes of vision loss…
- Refractive errors that go uncorrected (myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism)
- Cataracts that are not operated on
- Glaucoma (poor drainage that results in excess pressure in the eye)
- Diabetic retinopathy (weakened blood vessels in the retina due to diabetes)
- Age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of cells in your eye)
- Stroke or brain tumor (permanent damage to one or both eyes)
These conditions can result in partial or total blindness. Some conditions may be sudden while others can happen gradually over many years.
Losing your vision over time is different from blindness diagnosed at birth or due as a result of a genetic mutation (such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) or Usher’s Syndrome).
WHO estimates that 80% of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured through diet, lifestyle changes, and current medical technology.
Science has come a long way in the past two decades in the field of corrective vision. If you can do it, check out options that are right for you. I admit my own nervousness about any procedure involving my eyes but every year, the statistics are better with fewer problem cases.
Prevent Poor Eyesight with 5 Simple Habits
1. Look away! No matter what you do for a living, focusing on one point for hours on end is damaging to your vision. Try to remember to look away, across a room, to allow your eyes to rest periodically. It flexes different muscles in your eyes and helps avoid eye strain.
2. Lubricate! There’s no shame in having dry eyes. Talk to your eye doctor about the right drops for you but avoid drops intended to reduce redness since they temporarily restrict blood flow. Opt for single-use types and keep them refrigerated for extra soothing. No matter what you’ve heard, take out those contact lenses when you’re sleeping.
3. Wear protection! This should be a no-brainer but so many people spend hours in the sun without protecting their delicate eyes with sunglasses (even the cheap ones help). Also, when swimming, protect your eyes! Salt water and chlorinated water dry out the surface of the eye and make it more fragile. Naturally, if you’re doing anything where “particles” could hit your face, safety first! Protective goggles are available everywhere and are incredibly inexpensive.
4. Lower brightness! In our hectic modern world, we’re exposed to screens throughout the day in the form of computers, phones, tablets, televisions, and even customer access sites. Whenever possible, lower the blue light (considered more damaging than UV light) emitted by these devices. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) that results in eyes being tired and dry is more prevalent after dark.
5. Don’t neglect your eyes! Changes in your vision can often pinpoint another issue more rapidly than a general physician. Get an eye exam every 12-18 months (particularly after age 40). Rapid changes in vision should be addressed immediately.
Other habits that drastically affect your vision over time are sleep deprivation (consistently fewer than 6 hours per night), using makeup applicators without washing them (they hold massive amounts of dirt, oil, and bacteria), and smoking that not only dries the eyes but covers them in carcinogens. There isn’t enough research on vaping yet to include it.Habits that affect your vision are lack of sleep, using makeup applicators without washing them, and smoking. #FactsClick To Tweet
Prevent Poor Eyesight with 5 Vitamins & Minerals
1. Lutein & Zeaxanthin are carotenoids (plant compounds) used by your body. Only these two are found in massive quantity in your eyes. They’re best absorbed with zinc and vitamin C. They filter UV light and protect your retina. You do not make these compounds so you must get them through diet (eggs and leafy greens) or supplementation.
2. Beta-Carotene (vitamin A) is another carotenoid found in brightly colored plant-based foods that slows macular degeneration. Your body converts what it needs into vitamin A, which helps protect your eyes, heart, and the signs of aging.
3. Vitamin C protects your connective tissue, which includes skin collagen and the cornea of your eye. Research confirms that adequate vitamin C lowers your risk of developing cataracts and helps slow age-related macular degeneration.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids must be consumed through diet or supplementation. Your body cannot make it. Along with powerful benefits for your brain and heart, omega-3 concentration in your eyes is very high (and must be maintained). Your body must have EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) to create enough DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that exists in your retina.
5. Zinc is an essential trace mineral that helps your body use beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C in optimal ways. It’s a core substance in the production of melanin, which protects your eyes. Cataracts and night blindness have been linked to zinc deficiency.
Runners up are selenium, taurine, magnesium, and ginkgo biloba.
One of the primary nutrients so many forget is water! Adequate hydration is directly connected to keeping your eyes properly lubricated.Drink water! Adequate hydration is directly connected to keeping your eyes properly lubricated. #PreventPoorEyesightClick To Tweet
The Role of Diet in Poor Eyesight Prevention
Study after study has determined that poor diet is the #1 cause of disease. Too much fake food leads to obesity, heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline, and diabetes.
Everything you do right now to protect your vision (as well as the rest of you) will make a measurable difference in your future health. It is never too late (or too early) to address your diet and lifestyle habits.
Today can be that day for you.