Eye Health Tricks You Can Start Using Today

Jan 12, 2024
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You know that oatmeal can keep your cholesterol down, and exercise strengthens your heart health, but what are you doing for your eyes? Here are some simple tips you can do daily to ensure optimal eye health.

Your eyes go to work from the moment you wake up until you close them to sleep. Yet it’s easy to overlook them during your daily routine unless issues like dryness, fatigue, strain, and, eventually, vision problems arise. Fortunately, you can prevent some of those problems by taking a few precautions.

Dr. Sophia Barnes and our Vision Corner staff offer state-of-the-art eye care using the most advanced technology, but our passion really lies in helping our patients throughout Houston, Texas, avoid vision problems in the first place. 

Many people don’t realize that daily habits and choices can undermine their eye health, however, so we’re highlighting some simple tricks you can implement today to improve your chances of maintaining top-notch eye health. 

1. Get the right nutrients

Certain vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in maintaining your eye health. The key players are vitamins A, C, and E and minerals like copper and zinc. These nutrients protect your eyes from harmful light, repair damaged cells, and maintain healthy tissue.

You can get these nutrients from supplements, but we recommend revamping your diet and getting them naturally by focusing on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Carrots, oranges, almonds, and sunflower seeds are particularly rich in these nutrients.

2. Avoid tobacco

You probably know about the harmful effects of tobacco on your lungs, but have you considered what it's doing to your eyes? 

Smoking doubles your risk of developing cataracts and quadruples your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration. It also contributes to dry eyes by affecting the glands in your eyelids that produce tears.

Quitting smoking is a smart choice for your overall wellness and your eye health

3. Take frequent screen breaks 

You may not be able to avoid screens altogether, but too much time staring at digital outputs can harm your eyes. 

Prolonged exposure to electronic screens can reduce your blinking rate by one-third or half your normal pace. Over time, the strain can lead to computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain, causing blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and neck and shoulder pain.

To give your eyes a break, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple trick can significantly reduce eye strain and improve your overall eye health. You might also benefit from blue light glasses that block harmful rays from electronic devices.

4. Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is essential for your eyes, too. While you sleep, your eyes receive continuous lubrication, which clears out irritants like dust, allergens, or smoke that might have accumulated during the day. The longer you sleep, the cleaner your eyes.

Inadequate sleep increases your chances of developing eye diseases, such as glaucoma. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night to give your eyes the rest they need. 

5. Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement; they’re like sunscreen for your eyes, protecting them from harmful UV rays.

Excess sun exposure can burn your eyes just as it burns your skin. This condition, called photokeratitis, inflames your corneas and can damage your retinas, lenses, and conjunctiva (the mucous membrane lining your eyes). 

Photoeratitis also puts you at higher risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Make sure you choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays for maximum protection. Dr. Barnes can help you choose sunglasses that look good and do good. 

Book an appointment online or call Vision Corner today for more tips on maintaining stellar eye health.