9 Tips For Keeping Your Eyes Healthy And Fighting Chronic Dry Eyes

Eyesight is arguably the most important human sense; this is because the most significant part of the information that is received from the outer world is processed through the eyes. Despite the importance of having them at their best performance, most people are neglecting the health of their eyes. The eyeballs, like all organs in the body, need a few simple things to ensure their wellbeing. Taking care of one's eyes can help maintain their good health and improve their performance. Here are a few tips that are proven to help to retain and enhance one's vision.

Throw Out Old Makeup

Germs and bacteria like to settle in cosmetic products over time and can irritate the eyes when the two come into contact with one another. Old makeup - especially products that are in direct contact with eyes such as mascara, eyeshadows, and eyeliners - are best discarded when they exceed their expiration date. Bacterial conjunctivitis, or bacterial infection, is the most common eye problem in medicine, and one of its primary culprits is poor hygiene and usage of old cosmetic products. It is advisable to discard eye makeup every three months. This is especially relevant for the mascara, as particles from it often end up in the eyes. Smelling mascara is the best way to test its age, as an old mascara will have a fishy smell to it.

Eat Orange And Yellow Foods

Foods that are yellow or orange in color - such as pumpkins, carrots, and egg yolks - are found to contain high amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein, two nutrients that protect the body from aging and muscle degeneration. Muscle degeneration is one of the main reasons for loss of eyesight in older individuals. Research shows that those who consume foods high in zeaxanthin and lutein in their later years are less likely to develop this condition. Dark green vegetables have the same effect; these foods include kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Consuming more of these foods in one's everyday diet can help lower the risks of muscular degenerative diseases that affect the eyes.

Spend More Time Outdoors

Spending too much time indoors can increase the risk of developing myopia (a condition in which faraway objects are not focused well) or nearsightedness. Many individuals do not spend enough time outside in natural light taking in scenery and faraway objects. Using one's distance vision and increasing their natural light exposure are the primary health gains of spending time outside. Those who spend more time outdoors substantially reduce their risk of developing nearsightedness, because the muscles in the eyes that are responsible for perceiving faraway objects are properly trained. In patients with myopia, these muscles are weakened and do not function well. For children, spending time outside is even more important as their developing eyes are more prone to myopia.

Take Breaks From The Computer

Those who spend long periods of time in front of the computer or under artificial lights are at a greater risk of developing myopia, or nearsightedness. Eye specialists advise patients to take short, frequent breaks from staring at a television or computer screen. Giving the eyes a rest and walking around while focusing on distant objects relaxes the eyes and properly trains their muscles. When possible, take a walk outside and stretch the ocular muscles that are not used while staring at a computer screen. In order to remember to get up once in a while, try setting an alarm to go off every thirty minutes. If working in an office, try going outside for lunches and breaks as this will help the eyes recover from the strain from artificial lighting.

Protect Your Eyes From Mechanical Damage

When working in a job that involves a lot of dust, safety goggles should always be worn. During these situations, sharp objects, dust or other particles that are abrasive to the cornea have potential to enter the eye and cause significant damage to one's vision. Airborne objects that travel at high speed are hazardous to the eyes. The American Academy of Ophomology states that wearing protective eyewear in high-risk activities can substantially lower the chance of eye injuries by up to ninety percent. Popular activities that require safety eyewear include riding a bicycle, cycling, sanding, sawing, and working in the garden. In the case that a small airborne object does enter the eye, flushing with clear water or physiological solution is likely to remove it. For larger objects, one should seek immediate medical attention to ensure any potential permanent damage is minimized.

Go For Regular Eye Checkups

Regular eye checkups are not the same as vision screenings. Vision screenings give the patient a prescription for glasses or lenses; eye exams are conducted by an ophthalmologist who can thoroughly screen the eyes for health issues including any indications of early signs of glaucoma, cataracts, retina problems or muscular degeneration. Early diagnosis of such diseases can prevent more severe complications in the future by providing adequate medical treatment. Having an eye exam every two years is recommended for people who are near-sighted, over forty years of age or for those who have glaucoma, as these patients are at a greater risk of developing permanent eye-damaging conditions.

Stay Away From Smoking

Those who want to improve their chances of optimal eyesight until old age are advised to refrain from smoking cigarettes as there is a proven link between age-related muscular degeneration and smoking. Research shows that chronic smokers are four times more prone to developing age-related muscular degeneration than non-smokers. Cataracts or clouding of the lens of the eyes is the leading cause of vision loss and smokers are significantly more predisposed to developing this condition than non-smokers. Smoking also increases the risk of uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eyes, which can result in glaucoma and retinal detachment. The effects that smoking has on the eyes continue until the tenth year after an individual quits this habit. That is why quitting smoking as soon as possible is the excellent choice for maintaining healthy eyesight and ensuring optimal eye health.

Avoid Cooling The Upper Body

The cold air coming from air conditioners can take a toll on the organs in the upper part of the body, including the eyes. Cool air from an air-conditioning system is arid and removes moisture from the eyes. Dry eye occurs when there is a lack of lubrication on the surface of the eyes and puts them at a greater risk of infection. Air conditioning in offices, planes and at home should be adjusted to blow air towards the feet, instead of the face. Dry eyes should be avoided as they are predisposed to many other diseases. Red eyes, a foreign sensation in the eyes, burning, itching and blurred vision are all signs of dry eyes. In case the conditioning cannot be changed there are prescription medications which can treat dry eyes and protect their surface from the complications arising from dry eyes.

Consume More Omega-3

Researchers have discovered that the consumption of more oily fish reduces the instances of a dry eye syndrome. In studying the diet of an average woman, research pointed to a correlation between low Omega-3 intake and chronic dry eyes. Omega-3 is naturally found in fatty fish, but it can also be taken in other ways if fish is not preferred. Other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include canola oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, eggs, wild rice, soy, walnuts, and dairy from grass-fed animals. There are plenty of Omega-3 supplements on the market that are of good quality and can act as a substitute for these foods. The typical requirement for intake of Omega-3 is 2000 to 3000 mg per day.