The basics of healthy living include exercise and eating a well-balanced diet.  Walks, bike rides, healthy greens, fruit loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and natural nutrients are all means of protecting ourselves from disease while keeping our bodies healthy.  All pretty enjoyable, and such great benefits!

Making a few changes to our lifestyle and one or two pieces of “equipment,” along with those same healthy body choices, can do the same for your eyes.  And who wouldn’t want to do that?  After all, sight allows for independent movement and keeps us safe as we navigate our world.  Did you know, about 80% of what we learn throughout our lives comes to us through our vision? It would seem a little gratitude is in order. 

 

Our top 5 tips for healthy eyes:

1.Sunglasses! We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a good quality pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Overexposure to Ultra Violet light (UV) given off by the sun can lead to many eye conditions.  Cataracts, pterygium, age-related macular degeneration are the most common health issues linked directly to UV overexposure. Your eyes can even become sunburned!  When shopping for your next sunglasses, be sure that they provide 100% UV protection and are wide enough to cover the full area around your eyes.

 

2.Stay safe and wear safety glasses when your eyes can be exposed to potential injury. Certain jobs, contact sports, yard work, home reno’s, and many more activities can leave you at risk of an eye injury.  A ball in the face or a fragment off a saw blade or lawnmower can happen in a second and cause significant and even permanent damage.  Safety eyewear is made to Canadian Standards Regulations for the lens and frame strength and includes protective side shields. They are available with your prescription in the lenses, and an optician can help you find the right design for your activities.

 

3.Give your eyes a break! You wouldn’t ride your bike for 16 hours a day, but we expect our eyes to be on constantly during our waking hours.  Our digital world puts more significant strain on our eyes, probably more than they are designed to handle. We forget to give our eyes a break from the blue-light that emits from the many devices that surround us. Our smartphone, tablet, computer, high-definition television and high-efficiency lighting all contribute to exhausted eyes. Did you know, we blink less when we are looking at a device? All of this can cause eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and may cause sleep disruption, especially if you tend to scroll through your feed right before bed. Try to monitor and limit the amount of time spent on your device, blink frequently, take a break every 20 minutes and look into the distance, at least 20 feet away, for 20 secs.  Stow your phone an hour before bedtime for better quality sleep, and ask your optometrist about blue-light filtering lenses.

 

4.Stop smoking! Smoking increases the risk of eye diseases like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. This habit can wreak havoc on your sight, causing permanent damage. There are many different ways to stop smoking and lots of programs to support this life changer. Speak to your doctor about the best option for you.

 

5.Visit your optometrist regularly. An optometrist is a doctor that specializes in eye health. They use different tests to analyze your visual acuity. They can also detect the early signs of various eye diseases and other health issues, including hypertension and diabetes. A routine annual appointment with the eye doctor is your best bet to ensure that you can see properly and support your health and wellness.

 

Is it time that your eyes get a little recognition? Book your appointment today!