Do you have to squint to read the fine print? Are headaches from your computer screen making you scream? Are you sitting so close to the TV that nobody else can see? Does reading street signs at night give you a fright? Vision problems can begin at birth or develop later in life. Read on to learn how to increase eyesight by following simple recommendations that will protect and improve your vision.
Eat a healthy diet that is rich in antioxidants, especially Vitamin A.
- Carrots – Contain high concentrations of both Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
- Leafy green vegetables – Are excellent sources of both lutein and zeaxanthin
- Citrus foods – Contain lots of Vitamin C
- Fatty fish – Are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- Lean beef, chicken, and pork – Are all rich in Zinc
- Nuts, seeds, and legumes – Will supply plenty of Vitamin E
To learn more about foods high in antioxidant see Foods High In Antioxidant – Eating Smart For Better Health.
Take frequent breaks from repetitive work, especially if you spend long periods of time looking at a computer screen. Get a large high definition screen and set the resolution low enough so that it is easy to read the small print. Adjust the height so that your eyes are not constantly looking up or down to focus on the screen’s center. Excessive use of smartphones can also cause eye fatigue.
Work in a relaxing environment with light that is not too bright or dim. The light should be positioned on your work area so that there is no glare or reflection. LED, florescent, or soft incandescent lighting is best.
Exercise frequently to increase blood flow and oxygen to your eyes. Establishing an exercise routine will help get you away from electronic devices and give your eyes a rest from focusing on the same thing.
Sleep at least 6 to 8 hours a night to help reduce eye strain. Closing your eyes for extended periods of time can also improve problems focusing by reducing eye dryness. You can also reduce dryness by keeping fans and air conditioners from blowing directly into your eyes.
Drink fluids to keep your eyes well hydrated and to prevent dry eyes by increasing tear production. Drinks made from real fruit and vegetable juices are a good source of antioxidants and other ingredients that improve eye health.
Treat Your Eyes Well
Avoid prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light by limiting exposure to the sun and wearing appropriate eyewear. Sunglasses or eyeglass lenses that darken with sun exposure (transitional lenses) can offer good UV protection. Wearing a hat with a large brim is also useful. Chronic sun exposure can cause retinal damage and may also decrease the pliability of the lens inside your eye.
Don’t smoke. Smoking decreases blood circulation to the eye and can damage the optic nerve, retina, and lens of the eye. This can lead to macular degeneration and cataract formation.
Protect your eyes from injury caused by flying objects and projectiles by wearing appropriate eye protection, like goggles and face shields. Eyeglasses will not properly protect your eyes unless they are specifically designed to do so. If you play contact sports then buy eyeglasses that can withstand impact without breaking and causing damage to your eyes.
Wash your hands before touching your face in areas around your eyes. Eye infections can cause pain on eye movement or blinking. Chronic infection or inflammation can cause permanent loss of vision. Avoid eye contact with chemical substances and cosmetics. If you wear contact lenses dispose of them daily or keep them clean and stored in their proper container with fresh cleaning solution.
Seek Professional Help
Have regular eye examinations, which is one of the best ways of maintaining good eye health and function. Eye exams should begin at age 6 to 12 months of age and continue as recommended by your eye doctor. Adults should typically have a routine eye exam every two years at age 18 and every year at age 65. Make an appointment immediately if you are having a vision problem, eye pain, or headaches.
Common Eye Problems In Children:
- Myopia or “Nearsightedness” – Things seen up-close are in clear focus but anything viewed at a distance is blurry or difficult to make out fine detail. Children typically develop academic performance problems in school. Myopia commonly runs in families so monitor your child’s vision at home. Be on the lookout for squinting and walking up close to view smaller or more distant objects.
- Amblyopia or “Lazy Eye” – One eye does not see clearly, even while wearing eyeglasses or contacts. This condition can also affect both eyes. If amblyopia is not treated early-on then it can result in permanent vision loss. Treatment usually involves the use of eyeglasses, eye drops, an eye patch, or visual retraining therapy.
- Strabismus or “Crazy-Eye” – Is easy to recognize because each eye points in a different direction. This may start out intermittently and become more frequent or occur constantly. The treatment is similar to lazy eye but may also include eye muscle surgery. Seek treatment as soon as possible.
- Ptosis or “Droopy Eyelid” – Can affect one or both eyes and severe cases can obstruct vision. Although some cases can improve on their own, surgery to tighten the muscles that lift the eyelid is usually the best and most effective option.
Common Eye Problems In Adults:
- Glaucoma – Caused by an increase in pressure of the fluid inside one or both of your eyes. If the pressure becomes too high it can damage your optic nerve and cause permanent vision loss. Treatment depends on the type of glaucoma and can consist of prescription eye drops or oral medications, laser surgery, or eye surgery. An eye doctor can easily measure the pressure in your eyes during a routine or problem visit.
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) – Affects the central area of the retina (macula), which allows us to see fine detail. Over 2 million Americans are affected by AMD. It can begin as early as age 40, with serious vision impairment at age 65 and older. Dry (non-bleeding) AMD can be treated with a combination of vitamins and minerals (AREDS 2 formula). Wet (retinal bleeding) AMD is treated with injections into the eye (intraocular injections) that control leakage from abnormal blood vessels, or with laser surgery.
- Cataract – Refers to clouding of the lens of the eye and is the most common cause of vision loss. Over 20 million Americans have a cataract in one or both eyes. Vision loss can be restored by removing the affected lens (catarctectomy) and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. Surgery should generally not be pursued until there is a detectable change in visual acuity.
- Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) – A common complication in people with poorly controlled diabetes. Early diagnosis is the key to minimizing vision loss. Management consists of adequately controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipids. All people with diabetes should have frequent healthcare visits and eye exams. An ophthalmologist (eye physician) and a diabetes specialist (endocrinologist) may be required for more advanced cases.
To learn more about the structure and function of the eye go here.
There Are Things That Can Help
There is a variety of equipment and devices available in every price range to help improve chronically impaired vision. These can be purchased in stores or on-line. Check to see what low vision organizations are available in your area that can provide you with a free exam and complementary or low-cost items to help you see better.
He is a list of some of the most common things that can help you overcome a low vision problem:
- Large print books, playing cards, and pillboxes
- Wide-lined paper with large-tipped pens and markers
- Large display clocks and telephones
- Talking clocks
- Magnifying lenses and glasses
- Video magnifiers
Putting It All Together
Your eye health can be easy to take for granted. Eye disease and visual problems can occur at any age. There are a wide variety of things you can do to help keep your vision sharp. Many eye problems are easily correctable but serious issues require early intervention by a qualified healthcare professional. It is important to tell your eye doctor your medical history and any family history of eye disease.
Tell Us What You Think
Please let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section.
- Do you have any additional tips or suggestions?
- Are you having a vision problem not discussed in this article?
- How are you dealing with your vision problem?