Did you know that 80% of everything you learn is made through our eyes, and what you see accounts for 80% of your memories? In the same vein, 80% of the known vision problems worldwide—including eyesight problems among kids—are preventable and even curable.
Needless to say, the so-called “windows to the soul” are a fascinating pair of organs. You would do so much good for yourself by knowing how to take care of your precious eyes.
The Anatomy and Physiology of the Human Eye
The human eye is only 1-inch square and weighs around 0.25 ounces, but it provides you with millions of pieces of information every second to assist and navigate your daily life. Your eyes are the organs that receive visual information and transmit it to your brain.
However, it is your brain that tells you what you are seeing. Your eyes function like two cameras on your face, constantly taking photographs that are sent to your brain. When someone becomes blind, the muscles and functions of the eyes often stop working, and other times, as with severe neurological conditions such as dementia, it is the brain that stops “seeing.”
The Undeniable Importance of Vision
According to Aristotle, “we prefer seeing to everything else.” Human perception includes the senses of taste, smell, hearing, and touch. Even after more than 2,000 years, most would agree with Aristotle. Not only do the eyes enable you to see and appreciate the beauty of the world, but it’s also the eyes that best protect you from danger.
Our eyes are a vital element of your health and are constantly at work. The way you read and express yourself through your eyes accounts for a large part of your nonverbal communication. Your eyes can also reflect your emotions, as well as your health and well-being to some extent. There are even instances when you can tell if someone is sick just by looking into their eyes.
Healthy eyesight is crucial for overall well-being and for maintaining independence and quality of life as you age. It is a fact that the health of your eyes deteriorates throughout time. Read on to learn how to take good care of your vision to keep it in the best condition.
7 Good Habits to Help Improve Your Eye Health
1. Shield your eyes from harmful UV rays
Excessive sunlight and UV radiation exposure can cause cornea sunburn or photokeratitis, which raises your risk of age-related macular degeneration. Put on those sunglasses to safeguard your eyes, in addition to making a fashion statement and adding pizzazz to your entire style.
If you don’t want to wear sunglasses, UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses will suffice. It’s also a good idea to wear hats, visors, and caps.
2. Maintain adequate lighting and optimum monitor distance
To keep your eyes from getting strained, your computer monitor should be an arm’s length away and 20 degrees below eye level. In the same manner, ensure that your space has adequate but diffused lighting. Glare is caused by focused and overly bright lighting that puts too much strain on the eyes.
3. Practice the 20-20-20 rule
During the day, your eyes work hard and deserve a respite. Working at a computer for lengthy periods can put a lot of strain on your body. To keep them in good condition, follow the 20-20-20 guideline. Every 20 minutes, glance away from your computer for 20 seconds and stare at something 20 feet away.
4. Stop smoking
You already know that smoking has detrimental effects on your lungs, heart, and pretty much every part of the body, including your hair, skin, and teeth; this includes your eyes, as well.
Cigarette smoking significantly increases your risk of acquiring cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Fortunately, the earlier you refrain from smoking, the more your blood vessels will benefit, and inflammation in your eyes and throughout your body will decrease.
5. Keep your hands and lenses clean
Germs and diseases are can also affect your eyes. The most minute things that irritate them can have an impact on your eyesight.
For this reason, you should always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses or touching your eyes. It is essential to clean your hands and disinfect your contact lenses as directed. You should also replace your contact lenses regularly, as required by the manufacturer or your doctor.
6. Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam
It’s easy and painless to get a dilated eye exam, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your eye health. Even though your eyes appear to be in good shape, you could be suffering from a disease you are unaware of. Many eye disorders have no symptoms or warning signals. These conditions can only be detected early on when they are easier to cure with a dilated eye exam.
7. Eat healthily, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep
Vitamins C, A, and E, as well as beta-carotene, lutein, omega-3, lycopene, and beta-carotene, are all essential for eye health. Make sure your diet contains a variety of foods that are high in those nutrients. Likewise, drinking enough water is vital for your body’s overall health, including your eyes. You can keep your eyes from becoming dry and inflamed with adequate water intake.
Lastly, your eyes need to recharge just like the rest of your body. See to it that you get enough sleep each night to refresh your eyes.
You might not have thought of keeping your hands clean, quitting smoking, staying hydrated, and avoiding sleep deprivation as necessary steps towards eye health, yet they all play a role in that.
A healthy lifestyle and safeguarding your eyes from the sun and foreign objects will not prevent you from every eye ailment. However, they can all reduce your chances of developing an issue with your eyesight. Also, keep in mind that it’s imperative to have them checked by an eye doctor regularly so they can diagnose and correct potential problems before symptoms appear.