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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Six easy ways to eye health

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Think for a moment about how often we use our sight every day. Our vision allows us to admire nature's beauty around us, enjoy a good book, and appreciate the faces of our loved ones. Vision is so important in our daily life, in fact, according to the annual American Eye-Q® survey, 40 percent of Americans worry more about losing their eyesight than over their ability to walk or hear.

However, despite eyesight being among our most treasured of senses, we don't often take the necessary steps to maintain our eye health. Here are six easy ways to ensure we are routinely on the right path to maintaining good eye health and protecting our vision:

1. See our eye doctor regularly.

When our vision is okay, it's easy to forgo seeing the eye doctor. But eye exams are important, not just for those experiencing changes in their visual acuity but for all of us. It is an essential way to detect even the slightest changes to our eye health and, it can also detect other systemic health issues, such as glaucoma and diabetes, before there are any symptoms.

Those who presently wear corrective lenses should see the eye doctor, bringing along their current lens prescription or eye glasses. In seeing the eye doctor, whether or not we have a vision correction issue, we should always bring our family's complete health history. We may not realize the connection between a larger systemic illness within the body and eye health. Alerting our doctor to any potential issues can help guide the doctor to the right course of action during our consultation.

Eye care should begin at an early age, and should be part of our normal health routine throughout life.

2. Protect our eyes.

It's important to protect our eyes from the environment. Most homes and offices have very dry air which can cause eye dryness and irritation. Using a humidifier to control air quality and lubricating eye drops are great options to help protect our eye surface from irritation and dryness.

The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can also be harmful to our eyes. In fact, a lifetime of UV light exposure can increase our risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. We shall protect our eyes as we would our skin by wearing sunglasses with 100 percent UV-A and UV-B protection. By the time we have reached age 18, we have received 80 percent of your lifetime exposure. It is also important to take the same sunglass precautions with children. Also, we must practice eye safety precaution by using protective eyewear while playing sports or working with hazardous materials. This helps protect and shield your eyes.

3. Eat well to protect our eyesight.

While we have all heard that eating carrots are good for our eyes, there are other food options that do a much better job of protecting our eyesight. Studies have shown that antioxidants and nutrients that are linked to a lower risk of common eye conditions include lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E.

By regularly eating foods that are rich in protective nutrients and antioxidants, we help maintain our good eye health and potentially prevent some troubling eye conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. The following can go a long way for our eye health:

- Leafy greens such as spinach and kale

- Cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and other oily fish

- Nuts, beans, eggs and other non-meat proteins such as soy

- Dark pigment fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries and grapes

- Citrus fruits and juices

- Avocados

- Broccoli

- Tea

4. Observe the 20-20-20 rule when we use computers.

Staring at the computer or other digital devices can cause major strain on our eyes and can also cause dry eyes, blurry vision, and headaches. To help combat these issues, let's simply rest our eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

5. Say NO to smoking.

Smoking makes us more susceptible to developing macular degeneration, progresses the development of cataracts and can cause optic nerve damage. Those who currently smoke should immediately quit the habit.

6. Take care of our overall health.

A healthy diet has an effect on our eye health. But did you know that exercise can also help by increasing circulation, which can lower pressure in the eyes? This can help those with glaucoma - a group of diseases caused by an increase in intraocular pressure or pressure inside the eye.

Exercise also helps maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases our risk of developing diabetes and other systemic diseases, increasing our chance of major eye diseases. If we are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight or reaching our weight goals, we need to talk to the doctor.

(www.alcon.com)

ACIRC

AMERICAN EYE-Q

C AND E

DOCTOR

EYE

EYES

HEALTH

HELP

PROTECT

STRONG

VISION

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