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Taking Care of Your Eyesight

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Taking Care Of Your Eyesight Healthy

Your eyesight is arguably one of the most important parts of your wellbeing. Losing your sight is particularly distressing and has a major impact on your life. To take care of your eyesight, diet and general lifestyle are essential factors.

Diet

When you were a child, you probably heard adults tell you to eat carrots so that you can see in the dark. This was more than a cheap trick, as there is actually a good deal of truth in what they were saying. Carrots contain beta carotene, which is known to keep eyesight healthy. It is found in other fruits and vegetables too, including leafy green vegetables, red peppers, apricots, melon and mango. If you follow a balanced diet, you should be able to get enough beta carotene from the foods that you eat, in which case supplements won't usually be necessary. If you choose to take supplements, stick to the recommended guidelines, as too much can be potentially dangerous.

Eye Tests

Regular eye tests are a key part of taking care of your eyesight. Check-ups can detect the early signs of conditions such as cataracts, which have a definite impact on eyesight. Ideally, you should have an eye test every one to two years to pick up on changes to your eyesight. These changes may be small, but if you wear glasses, they can be enough to require a new prescription.

Lifestyle

Spending too much time in front of your computer screen can leave your eyes feeling heavy, dry, tired and 'gritty'. A lot of people would probably use eye drops to counteract this, but if you spend a lot of time at the computer on a daily basis, it's likely that this is a regular feeling for you. Dry eyes are caused by a reduction (or temporary loss) of natural tears in your eyes, often made worse by staring at a computer screen or television. Eye drops can help to lubricate your eyes to produce artificial tears, but this should only be an occasional remedy. On a long-term basis, they could actually make your eyes feel even more dry.

It's important to take regular breaks when using the computer to give your eyes a chance to readjust. This can help to improve dry eye syndrome and bloodshot eyes. It can also reduce eyestrain.

Smoke can damage your eyes, especially if you are exposed to it over a long period of time. If you or the people who live with you are smokers, consider quitting as soon as possible. Your general health will thank you for it, as well as your eyes!

Other Considerations

  • If you wear contact lenses, avoid having them in your eyes for more than twelve hours at a time. As they tend to make your eyes drier than normal, this can lead to irreversible damage to your eyes.
  • It's fine to use eye drops every now and then if your eyes feel tired and 'gritty', but using them on a regular basis can accentuate the problem. If your eyes feel particularly 'gritty', it's worth visiting your GP or optician (if you have an eye test coming up) to make sure that you don't have conjunctivitis (an infection of the cornea), as this will need to be treated with anti-bacterial eye drops or ointment.
  • Always protect your eyes from direct sunlight by wearing sunglasses. These should be the kind that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays - if they don't, you might as well as not be wearing them. Exposure to UV rays can lead to long-term damage to your eyes, especially if it occurs over a number of years or decades.

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