By Eyecare NG

When it comes to taking care of our health, our eyes are usually not on our mind until they seem not to be working well. This ought not to be so.

Our eyes are the sense organs of our body responsible for our vision. They are the most important sense organs of our body because most of what we perceive from our environment comes through them.  Without them, our perception will be significantly diminished.

Our eyes aren’t just there for us to see. They work with our brain to help us learn new things, make sense of the world around us, interact better with people, pursue our dreams and also retain and relive memories throughout our lifetime. For these reasons, it is important that we protect them from hazards and care for them regularly.

By caring for your eyes regularly, you prevent avoidable eye disease and injuries and increase your chances of detecting unavoidable conditions early enough for them to be treated or managed successfully. That way you make your vision last you a lifetime.

Here are ways to take care of your eyes and make your vision last a lifetime:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: You must have heard this a lot of times but maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be overemphasized. It is extremely beneficial and impacts on your whole body including your eyes. Eat healthy and balanced meals filled with nutrients that maximize eye health such as Vitamins A, C, D and E, Omega 3 fatty acids, Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Quit smoking to minimize your risk of developing cataract, macular degeneration and other diseases. Exercise regularly to maintain healthy body weight and also keep fit which is good for a healthy body and your eyes inclusive. Learn more about nutrition for healthy eyes and why smoking is bad for your eyes .
  • Protect your eyes from hazards that can cause eye injuries: As much as possible keep your environment free of eye hazards. Use appropriate safety eyewear when performing activities  that pose a threat to eye safety. Also, minimize exposure to direct sunlight by wearing UV-protection sunglasses and face caps or wide-brimmed hats when out in the sun. Learn more about eye protection, protective eyewear and how to manage eye injuries.
  • Practice good hand hygiene: Good hand hygiene is a simple way to prevent infections. Avoid rubbing your eyes and ensure you wash your hands before and after touching your eyes. This is very important if you wear contact lenses. Washing your hands before insertion and removal of your contact lenses is key to the prevention of eye irritations and infections due to contact lens use.
  • Avoid eye strain: Eye strain can be very discomforting and is usually of serious concern to those who experience it. Taking precautions to avoid it is important for your comfort while performing visual tasks. Maintain proper lighting in the room while reading; keep your reading materials and digital devices at an appropriate distance from the eyes and take breaks away from your computer screen every 20 minutes to rest your eyes during prolonged computer work. If eye strain continues, consult your eye doctor to determine if you need special lenses that reduce direct glare from digital devices. Learn more about eye strain and how to manage it.
  • Keep chronic health conditions in check: Keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control if you have diabetes and hypertension respectively is essential for maintaining healthy eyes. Uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension can cause retinopathies, that is, conditions that damage the retina (the most sensitive part of the eye). Retinopathies can cause vision loss and blindness.
  • Get a comprehensive eye examination: Just like you go for regular medical checks in the absence of any obvious medical problems, regular eye checks even in the absence of any obvious eye problem is important. Many eye diseases like glaucoma and retinal diseases are asymptomatic in their early stages. Hence, people are often unaware of their existence until significant irreversible damage has been done to their vision. Getting your eyes examined annually or as recommended by a professional eye care service provider is key for the prevention and early detection of these diseases. Learn more about comprehensive eye examination.
  • Learn about your eye health condition: If you have an eye health condition, learning more about it is beneficial. You become more informed and are able to take on an active role in your care. You can learn more about your eye condition from your eye doctor and reliable sources of information online

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