Most of us take our eyesight for granted, but imagine this – what if you couldn’t even gaze at your family or even navigate your way safely round the kitchen?
There is much you can do to look after your eyes. For example, well-balanced diet can protect against age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older people. Here are more tips to keep your eyes in tip top condition :
You can do this yourself with a home blood-pressure kit, at your local GP or at some pharmacies. Two leading causes of blindness are high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which damage blood vessels.
While you are working or reading, set your alarm to beep every 30 minutes. When it goes off, look up and away trom your computer or look
to some distant point tor 30 seconds.
This helps to prevent eye fatigue and eye strain.
Blueberries are rich source of health-preserving antioxidants. A study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology found that women and men who ate the greatest quantity of fruits like blueberries were the least likely to develop age-related macular degeneration.
A 2001 study found that people whose diets were high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in omega-6 fatty acids (found in many fat-filled snack foods such as pre-prepared pies, cakes, biscuits and crisps) were much less likely to develop macular degeneration as opposed to those whose diets were high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids.
When researchers examined the relationship between exposure to sunlight and cataracts or age-related macular degeneration in fishermen, they found that those who protected their eyes from the sun’s glare and its damaging ultraviolet rays were significantly less likely to develop these conditions than those who went bare-eyed.
Also, wearing sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside, protect your eyes from the drying effects of wind.
A wide-brimmed hat will block about half of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation, as well as reducing the UV radiation that may enter your eyes from above or around sunglasses or glasses.
Eye make-up is a great repository for bacteria, which can be transferred to your eyes and cause infections
It could be a spinach quiche, a steamed silverbeet or maybe Tuscan spinach sautéed in some olive oil with garlic and raisins.
Studies find that lutein, a nutrient that is abundant in both, may prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Ideally, get your lutein in combination with some form of fat (olive oil works well) for the best absorption.
Studies find that a high-salt diet increases the risk of certain types of cataracts, so stay away from the salty stuff.
And don’t forget the high salt content in many processed foods!
Check labels for ‘no-salt, ‘no-sodium’, low-salt or ‘low-sodium’ tags when buying tinned and other prepared foods.
Red onions contain far more quercetin, an antioxidant that is thought to protect against cataracts.
A study by Harvard researchers evaluated the diets of 2470 women and found that those who ate the least amount of fish (thus getting the smallest amount of omega-3 tatty acids) had the highest risk of a condition called dry-eye syndrome.
If you dont like fish, or are worried about mercury consumption, try fish-oil supplements to get your dosage of omega-3s.
When doing carpentry or gardening, always wear goggles. Debris in the eye can lead to corneal abrasions, which can ultimately damage vision.
Also use protective goggles when swimming to protect your eyes from chlorine.
Dry, air-conditioned air will suck the moisture out of the eyes.
Therefore, aim the vents in your car away from your eyes, or wear sunglasses as a shield.
Dry eyes can be more than an inconvenience but serious dryness can lead to corneal abrasions and even blindness if left untreated.
Beetroots get their deep red colour from phytochemicals called anthocyanins, powertul anti-oxidants that protect the smaller blood vessels in your body, including those in your eyes.
Rich in vitamin A, orange sweet potatoes can help to improve your night vision.
Heat dries out the air and this dries out your eyes.
In winter, you might also try adding some humidity with a humidifier or even grouping a few plants together in the room in which you spend the most time.
Dab essential oil of jasmine, peppermint or vanilla on your arm and sniff.
Jasmine increases the beta waves in the frontal lobes of your brain, promoting wakefulness and enabling you to focus better and see things more acutely, according to scent researcher Dr Alan R. Hirsch, of the US Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation.
All three scents stimulate the limbic system in your brain, which, in turn, stimulates the rods in your eyes, helping you to see in dim light.