The Eyes Have It!

Eyes are the smallest and the most complex organs in our body. They play a critical role in our lives, not only helping us navigate the world but also working with the brain and nerves to help us perceive objects around us. Many people believe that vision is the most important of the five senses, and it is therefore essential to safeguard it however possible. Most of us experience eye problems at one time or another – some major and others relatively minor. Common eye problems include eye strain, eyelid twitching, low vision, and age-related issues such as cataracts, colour blindness, and glaucoma.

There are lots of reasons to stay away from smoking, as it is a risk factor for developing one of the major eye problems known as macular degeneration.
While age is often a cause of some of these conditions, there are other factors such as bacterial infections, genetics, and external causes such as excessive use of electronic gadgets.
Our heavy reliance on devices such as cellphones, laptops, and tablets can contribute greatly to digital eyestrain. Tell-tale signs of digital eyestrain include redness, headache and dryness.

The good news is that, for many of us, there are some basic things we can do to protect our overall eye health. Here are some tips and tricks:
Watch your food habits- 1. Studies have shown that food plays a significant role in protecting your eyes from all sorts of problems. Research has proven that foods rich in antioxidants reduce the risk of cataracts, and foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are good for proper vision. Some foods that are good for your eyes are: raw red peppers, sunflower seeds and nuts, leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, and collard greens), salmon, sweet potatoes, lean meat, beans and legumes, squash and broccoli.

Stay away from harmful UV rays- 2. Apart from eating a nutritious diet, it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Prolonged exposure to the UV rays is associated with higher likelihood of cataracts and other severe issues. When heading outside, always remember to carry and wear a pair of sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
Reduce your use of digital devices-3. Staring at the computer and other electronic devices causes eye strain. Damage from the blue light emitted by electronic gadgets is a serious and a common issue faced by children and adults alike. Over exposure to this light causes permanent damage, and one must therefore reduce the amount of time spent using electronics. It is also good to take frequent breaks while working. Consider using anti-reflective lenses that are designed specially to protect your eyes against the blue light.

Say no to smoke-4. There are lots of reasons to stay away from smoking, as it is a risk factor for developing one of the major eye problems known as macular degeneration. The harmful chemicals in smoke react with the genetic material, resulting in damage to the eye cells.

Get your checkups- 5. In order to ensure good eye health, one must visit an eye doctor every two years for a complete examination. A comprehensive eye test includes dilating your pupils, which helps detect diabetic retinopathy, which generally has no warning signs. Apart from getting periodic eye checkups, one must sleep well. Lack of adequate sleep leads to various issues such as eye strain, dry eyes, blurred- vision, and also damages the optic nerve. What are you waiting for? Get started with these simple changes, and you’ll see significant differences in your vision.

--- Akhila