Top 5 Tips For Healthy Eyes
1. Always Wear Sunglasses
UV radiation can hurt your eyes just like it does your skin. Effects add up and can cause problems like cataracts, cornea burns, and even cancer of the eyelid. Whenever you’re outside — even on cloudy days — wear sunglasses or contacts that block 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Protective lenses don’t have to be expensive, just check the label. Hats block exposure, too. Snow, water, sand, and concrete all can reflect UV rays.
2. Take a 20-Second Computer Break
Staring at a computer (or any digital screen) won’t hurt your eyes, but it can make them feel tired and dry. Surprisingly, we blink about half as often when we’re looking at a screen. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Also, place your screen so it’s about 25 inches away and slightly below eye level. Cut glare by moving light sources or using a screen filter.
3. Use Safety Glasses at Work and Play
Nearly half of all eye injuries happen at home, not on a job site. Use safety glasses whenever a project might send debris flying or splash hazardous chemicals. Protective eyewear may prevent 90% of sports-related eye injuries. Lenses should be made of polycarbonate plastic — which is 10 times more impact resistant than other materials. Some sports with the most injuries are baseball/softball, racket sports, lacrosse, and basketball.
4. Don’t Ignore Eye Problems
If your eyes are itchy or red, soothe them with cold compresses, antihistamines, or eye drops. If you feel grittiness, like there’s sand in your eye, rinse with clean water or saline. See a doctor if symptoms continue, or if you have eye pain, secretions, swelling, or sensitivity to light. Other reasons to see a doctor: dark floating spots, flashes of light, or any time you can’t see normally.
5. Eat for Your Heart and Your Eyes
Foods that help circulation are good for your heart, eyes, and vision. Choose heart-healthy foods like citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, and whole grains. Foods rich in zinc — beans, peas, peanuts, oysters, lean red meat, and poultry — can help eyes resist light damage. And carrots do help eyesight: The vitamin A in them is important for good vision. Other nutrients that help eyes include beta-carotene (found in many yellow or orange fruits and veggies), and lutein and zeaxanthin (found in leafy greens and colorful produce).