What Is Eye Health?
Having healthy eyes with good vision and without having any symptoms or pain is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing. Many eye problems are benign such as dry eyes, redness or mild irritation in the eyes, near-sightedness etc.; however, other conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma are more serious and can lead to loss of vision and even blindness.
Some of the common eye diseases and problems are:
- Dry eyes
- Eye allergies, redness or irritation in the eyes
- Tiredness of eyes, pain around the eyes
- Refractive errors (near-sightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia, astigmatism (blurry vision), presbyopia (inability to focus on close objects))
- Retinal diseases (retinal tear or retinal detachment), cataract
- Optical neuritis (optic nerve inflammation)
- Glaucoma, macular degeneration
- Eye problems due to diabetes (diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy)
What Are The Symptoms Of Eye Health?
Some of the common symptoms of eye problems include:
- Dry eyes, blurry vision
- Discharge from the eye, light flashes
- Irritation of the eye, redness
- Sensitivity to light
- Pain in eyes, a headache
- Vision loss, tearing
What Are The Causes Of Eye Health?
- Age (glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration)
- Diseases like diabetes, infections due to viruses, allergens, bacteria, chemicals, dirty contact lenses and loose eyelashes (causing pink eye or conjunctivitis)
- Blockage of eye glands (causing sty)
- Allergies, dryness
- Wearing wrong prescription glasses or contact lenses
- Staring at the computer, phone, e-readers, etc. for long periods of time
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Eye Health?
- When you are outdoors, protect your eye by wearing sunglasses, which will help to protect your eyes from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Too much of exposure to UV rays causes macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Use safety eyewear if you play sports that can cause eye injury or if you work with hazardous materials in your workplace.
- Ensure that your glasses or contact lenses are up to date, especially if you work on your computer for long periods of time.
- Move your computer screen so that the top of the screen is in level with your eyes and you look slightly down at the computer screen.
- If your eyes are very dry, then blink more often.
- While working, rest your eyes after every 20 minutes, for around 20 seconds look 20 feet away and after every 2 hours, get up and take a break for 15 minutes.
- Get your eyes checked regularly and if your vision is blurry, then maybe your prescription requires correction.
- Maintain your blood sugar.
- Do eye exercises for at least 20 minutes a day. This will not only relax your eyes but also prevent early onset of various eye problems like cataract.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Eye Health?
- Avoid the glare from lights and windows and if required, make use of an anti-glare screen. Dim your computer and TV screens a bit.
- Avoid looking at the computer or phone screen for too long as they can cause problems such as blurred vision, eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, back, neck and shoulder pain and trouble with focusing at a distance.
- Avoid or quit smoking as this causes damage to the optic nerve, causes cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Avoid working in the poor or dim light. Use a soft white light that doesn’t produce glare and also does not reflect into your eyes directly.
- Avoid dusty areas as the dust can harm your eyes.
- Don’t wear your glasses and contact lenses all the time. Remove them every now and then and give your eyes some rest.
What Are The Best Foods For Eye Health?
- Vitamins E, A and C, and minerals such as zinc and copper are extremely important for good eyesight.
- Include foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, yellow peppers, pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and egg yolks in your diet, which are a great source of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene that protect the macula from the sun and help to prevent macular degeneration.
- Foods like onions, garlic, capers, and shallots are rich in cysteine, sulfur, and lecithin that help in protecting your eyes from cataract.
- Berries such as grapes, goji berries, and blueberries are rich in anthocyanins and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help to improve vision.
- Wild fish such as sardines, cod, wild salmon, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and DHA which helps to boost eye health and also prevent dry eyes.
- Citrus fruits and berries are rich in vitamin C that helps to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Eggs are excellent for eye health. The vitamin A in the yolk helps to protect the cornea and zinc boosts the health of the retina. The zeaxanthin and lutein contained in the eggs help to prevent cataract and macular degeneration.
- Almonds are good for eye health as they contain vitamin E which helps to prevent problems like cataract and macular degeneration.
- Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are great sources of zinc and vitamin A, which helps to boost eye health and prevents eye diseases.
- Carrots contain vitamin A and beta-carotene that help to prevent eye problems and infections of the eye.
- Kale contains important minerals, vitamins and nutrients, and antioxidants that are excellent for eye health and helps to prevent serious eye conditions.
What Are The Worst Foods For Eye Health?
- Sugar and sugary foods are linked to poor eyesight, especially if you suffer from diabetes, it can lead to eye problems due to insulin response affecting metabolism.
- Avoid saturated and trans fats as these cause inflammations in the body and result in poor eyesight. Avoid cakes, cookies, crackers and other baked products, fried foods like chips, French fries, etc.
- Avoid sweetened beverages as they contain added sugars like fructose corn syrup that cause poor eye health.
What Are The Medicines For Eye Health?
What Are The Tips To Manage Eye Health?
- Stimulate the eye muscles every morning. When you wake up splash some cold or cool water on your face. The fill water in your mouth and close your eyes and splash cold water on your eyes. This exercise helps to stimulate your eyes.
- Massaging your eyes, especially if you work long hours in front of the computer can help to improve eye circulation and reduces eye fatigue.
- Do some eye exercises to reduce eye strain and improve eye health.
- Sleep well, as this allows the eyes to get rest and relief from strain and bright lights. Meditating around 10 minutes before going to bed can ensure a good night’s sleep.
Some natural remedies for good eye health are:
- Saffron is a spice that prevents eye problems such as cataracts.
- Milk thistle contains silymarin that helps to repair the eye and prevents eye problems.
- Bilberry is a rich source of the bioflavonoid which helps to regenerate rhodopsin, the pigment used by the rods in the eyes. Consuming bilberry can help to improve night vision.
- Gingko Biloba helps to increase the circulation to the rear portion of the eye and is a great remedy for eye problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration.
- Flowers of eyebright plant have been used for several centuries to treat eye irritation.
- Mix the juices of celery, carrot, chicory, and parsley and consume this as it helps to nourish the optic nerve and is very beneficial for eye health.
- Eating raw fennel seeds or making tea with fennel or using it as an eyewash can helps to reduce vision problems such as cataract.
- Cayenne pepper increases the blood flow to the eyes and is beneficial for eye health.
- Endive juice is a great remedy for myopia and it can also be consumed by mixing it with celery, carrot and parsley juice.