Our eyes are the window to the world around us. Imagine life without eye sight. It would be a blank dark world. Sight is the most important of the five senses. Hence, it is important that you bestow the best possible care for your eyes.
Protecting the eyes
Eyes are exposed to injury in our work places, while travelling and while playing sports and games. A few precautions will prevent injury to the eyes. Avoid hazards and careless acts that can harm your eyes. Wear protective gear to protect the eyes from accidental injuries. Protective gear can be in the form of safety glasses made from poly carbonate and safety goggles which will protect the eyes from flying splinters or splashing chemicals.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage your vision. No more than 30% of sun rays should reach your eyes. While walking or working in the sun, wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Continuous reading or reading small print, sewing or working with tiny precision objects can strain your eyes. Eye strain tires the eyes or the muscles around the eyes. Give your eyes a rest in between by taking a break from whatever you are doing. Keeping the eyes closed during the intervals, will relax the eyes.
Proper nutrition will help to keep the eyes healthy.
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining normal eyesight. Vitamin A deficiency can cause drying of the eye, which if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Carrot is an excellent source of vitamin A.
Age-Related Eye Disease Study done by the National Institutes of Health suggests that antioxidants, certain minerals like zinc along with vitamins reduce the risk of developing advanced-age related macular degeneration by about 25 per cent. Macular degeneration is a serious eye disease associated with ageing.
Broccoli and watercress contain two powerful antioxidants called lutin and zeaxanthin which help to keep the eyes healthy and resist age related deterioration.
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your eyes. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended that you eat oily fish at least twice a week. Other sources include flax seeds and walnuts.
Diabetic eye care
Diabetes poses serious threat to the eyes. About 5 per cent of the people with diabetes end up losing eye sight due to retinopathy. Retinopathy is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing across the retina damaging the vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in people younger than 60, in the USA and Canada. Diet, medication and exercise are key to controlling diabetes and preventing retinopathy.
Regular check ups
Regular check up of your eyes will help to diagnose any problem in your eyes. Waiting until they start bothering you, is a very bad practice. Your eyes may be silently suffering a disease, without you realizing it. Diagnosing the problem early gives you a better chance of treating and curing the disease. A check up is recommended once every two to four years for people between the age of 40 and 65 and once every one or two years for people above 65. If you have diabetes or your family has a history of problems like glaucoma or macular degeneration, get a check up done every year.
Work out for your eyes
Like any other muscle in our body, our eyes too need regular exercise. Some simple exercises can strengthen the eye muscle and improve vision.
- Blinking is the simplest form of exercise for the eyes. Blinking keeps the eyes fresh and focused. If your work demands that you sit looking at the computer screen for long hours, then you are likely to blink less. Try blinking every five seconds for two or three minutes and then continue on your work. Repeat this after every one hour.
- Imagine a large figure of 8 hanging in front of you. Trace the imaginary 8 with your eyes, moving them slowly. First move them one way for a few minutes and then move in the opposite direction for a few minutes. This exercise increases the flexibility of the eye muscles.
- If someone can swing a pendulum above your head while you are lying down, focus your eyes on the moving pendulum.
- Put your finger in front of your eyes and focus your eyes on the tip of the finger as you keep moving the finger away from and closer to, the eyes. This helps to exercise the ciliary muscle.
- Open your eyes and look up. Rotate the eyeballs clockwise five times and close the eyes. Then look down and rotate them anti-clockwise five times.
- Gently massage the eyelids with your middle finger. Then open the eyes. Fix two objects – one at a distance and another closer to you. Close your eyes. Open the eyes and focus on the distant object. After 10 seconds, shift your focus to the closer object. Repeat it every 10 seconds, 10 to 15 times.
After the exercises, keep your eyes closed for two minutes to relax the eye muscles.
Our eyes are extremely intricate yet delicate organs. They are vital for our communicating with the outside environment. They deserve the best care. Care for your eyes and enjoy wellness.