It is perhaps only when your eye sight is threatened, that you realize just how important your vision is and how you should do everything you possibly can to protect it for the whole of your lifetime.
A few years ago, I was driving alone when I suddenly could not see anything out of my right eye. It was very frightening and it turned out that I had a detached retina which required immediate laser surgery. Fortunately, this was very successful and my full sight was restored but it certainly made me appreciate my very precious eye sight.
There are lots of very basic ways in which you can protect your eyes
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection whenever you are in the sun because UV light can cause long term damage to the inner structures of the eyes.
- Think seriously about giving up smoking as apart from the many other detrimental effects of smoking, it puts you at greater risk of developing macular degeneration (an eye disease in which the macula, a structure within the eye that allows you to see, gradually deteriorates leading to decreased vision or blindness.)
- Wear protective eye wear if you play sports like racquet ball (or squash) or if you are doing DIY around the home. It only takes a second for something to hit an unprotected eye and cause serious damage. If you have been hit in the eye and it looks strange or appears to be bleeding, or if you have changes in or lose your vision, go to an ER at the hospital immediately.
- If you have a red eye, pain in an eye that doesn't go away within a short period of time, or have any changes in your vision, you should have your eyes checked. Persistent headaches or migraines could also mean that you need a check up.
- If you get any small foreign objects in your eye such as sand, sawdust or metal shavings, don’t rub it. Flush your eye for several minutes with lukewarm water (easiest in the shower) but if it still feels like there is something there, see your doctor.
- We all tend to use computers for long periods of time. If your eyes feel dry and irritated, use artificial tears (look for a natural product) but not products that remove the red from your eyes as these may contain a chemical.
- Take a visual break from the computer by staring at distant objects out of the window or even inside the room. An easy exercise is to blink several times, close your eyes for a few seconds and then try to roll your eyes clockwise and counter clockwise to relieve stress.
- Make sure you always have sufficient light for the job in hand. Although you won’t ruin your vision, you can still strain your eyes. Your eyes would have to work harder to convey messages to the brain.
- Prevent eye infections such as conjunctivitis. Shaking hands with someone who has a bad cold and pink eye can spread the infection to your own eye. Don’t share eye makeup or drops with anyone else. Don’t touch the tip of a bottle of eye drops with your hands or your eyes because of possible contamination. Wash your hands regularly!
- Remember the old wives tale about carrots helping you to see in the dark? Well carrots (as well as squash) are rich with in vitamins A, C & E to prevent eye infections and beta carotene, found in these vegetables, will help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Other foods are helpful for the eye and should be included in your daily diet. Sardines, mackerel and tuna are all rich in DHA while spinach and green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenes to help protect eyes from sun damage.
- You need to drink plenty of water. As well as helping so many other parts of your body, it helps your eyes retain moisture.
- When washing your eye area, use a disposable cotton wool ball or a clean face towel each time. Never rub your eyes with your hands. I always find a natural baby oil product on a cotton wool ball makes a good eye make up remover. If you use eye cream at night, apply with a very clean third finger (as this finger has less pressure than your other digits) or a small piece of cotton wool. Again, look for an eye cream that is a natural product.
- Have a regular check up with your optometrist. Ideally, this should be once a year. Often eye shape is the culprit when it comes to the cause of vision problems. Someone with perfect 20/20 vision has eyes that are basically round like a baseball while those who need spectacles or contact lenses will usually have eyes that are shaped differently. Conditions such as Myopia (near sightedness), Hyperopia (far sightedness) or Astimatism will all need corrective lenses.
- If you wear contact lenses, never put them in your mouth to wet them as many bacteria and viruses, such as HPV that causes cold sores, may be present in your mouth and could easily spread to your eyes.
- Many people suffer from skin tags on their eyelids as they grow older but don’t worry as these can be safely and gently removed by a natural product available on line from Healing Natural Oils - H-Skin Tags.
Eye exercises are all the rage!
I checked out lots of different sites promoting eye exercises and I really could not make up my mind about which were the best to try. If you are interested, it is probably worth typing in “eye exercises” on your search engine and see what comes up for you. Some sites advocate the methods of Dr. William H. Bates from decades ago. A tip from the Health Ranger at www.naturalnews.com
makes good sense to me.
He says: “Indoor living is bad for your eyes because it doesn't give your eyes practice focusing on long-range objects. To keep your vision sharp, you need to practice looking at the horizon, then looking back at something close. The problem is that in most cities these days, the horizon can't even be found! Many people who are diagnosed with "bad vision" simply need more eye exercise
After all the exercise, your eyes (like the rest of your body) need rest!
Apart from sleep, you can help relieve tension in your eyes and prevent your eyesight from deteriorating by placing a warm towel over your eyes after your bath or shower. Massage around the circumference of your eyes with the tips of your index fingers to encourage circulation as well as your neck up to the back of your ears. This is to help the veins in this area to carry enough oxygen to the brains. You can also use old teabags or slices of cucumber, which have been chilled in the fridge, to cover your eyes while you relax.
Take care of your eyes and they will certainly take care of you!