Dr. Michael Behforouz
As featured in
"Best of 2011"
Following all of these may not keep your vision perfect – but, these 10 Tips for Healthier Eyes will give you a distinct advantage in pursuing long-term eye health.
1) Take a 20 second computer break. Devoting too much of your work or leisure hours gazing at a computer screen can take a toll on the health of your eyes. While staring at a video screen cannot damage your eyes, it can leave them feeling tired and dry. Follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes spent looking at your computer screen, look away for a minimum of 20 seconds and focus on an object at least 20 feet away. Also, your screen should ideally be placed about 25 inches from your eyes and in a position slightly below eye level.
2) Always wear sunglasses. In much the same way it damages your skin, UV radiation can hurt your eyes as well. The effects can accumulate over time and cause problems like cataracts and even, in some instances, cancer of the eyelid. Even on cloudy days, you should wear sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Protective lenses do not have to be pricey; just check the labels for protection levels. Hats can help block your exposure too!
3) Use Safety Glasses. Whether at work or play, nearly half of all eye injuries happen at home – – and, NOT on a job-site. Whenever a project might send debris flying or chemicals or cleaners splashing, protective eyewear is called for. Most effective safety glasses are made of polycarbonate plastic – which is up to 10 times more impact-resistant than other materials. Experts say that protective eyewear could prevent up to 90% of all sports related eye injuries, too.
4) Eat for your heart AND your eyes. Foods that help with circulation are certainly good for your heart – plus, they are also good for your eyes and visions. Citrus fruits, dark leafy greens and whole grains are at the top of the list of heart-healthy foods. Zinc aids in helping eyes resist light damage – so, don’t forget peas, beans, oysters, peanuts, lean red meat and poultry. Carrots DO help nourish your eyes as do foods rich in beta-carotene and vitamin A.
5) Pay attention to eye problems. Don’t ignore soreness, itchy eyes, redness or that feeling that something gritty is in your eye. Soothe itchiness and redness with cold compresses, antihistamines or eye drops or lubricants. If you think there is something embedded in your eye – don’t rub it. Rinse with clean water or saline and see us here at Center for Sight if there is pain, swelling, discharge or light sensitivity. Anytime you experience something other than normal vision, call or come see us promptly.
6) Clean your contact lenses. For contact lens wearers, the best way to take care of your eyes is to take care of your contacts. Always wash your hands prior to handling your contacts. Use only cleaners and procedures approved by your doctor. Clean, rinse and dry your case each time you remove the lenses – and, replace your case every 2-3 months. Don’t leave daily wear lenses in while you sleep or nap and don’t wear lenses for longer periods than recommended.
7) Know your health history. You might be surprised at how many seemingly unrelated health conditions can influence the health of your eyes. For instance, both high blood pressure and diabetes can reduce blood flow to the eyes. Immune system disorders can cause some eye inflammation. Always tell your eye care professional about all current or past health issues you have experienced – and, those eye problems or serious illnesses of other family members as well.
8) Always read drug labels. Be on the lookout for how various over-the-counter and even prescription medications can affect your vision. Many drugs or combinations of drugs can negatively impact your vision. Tell your doctor if you notice any issues like dry or watery eyes, double vision, blurred vision or light sensitivity.
9) Throw away old eye makeup. Bacteria can easily grow in liquid based or creamy eye makeup. It is best to discard these products after 3 months. If you develop an eye infection, immediately discard all eye makeup products and see an eye-care professional ASAP. If you tend to have allergic reactions, try new products one at a time to isolate potential sensitivities. Always clean your face thoroughly before applying makeup and never share cosmetics.
10) Stop Smoking. So much bad stuff here. Smokers have a higher risk of developing cataracts. Smokers have plaque buildup in the bloodstream that weakens arteries raising the risk of heart attacks and potentially damaging the retina and causing vision loss. Quitting smoking helps level out the risk of eye disease.
And, here’s the BONUS:
11) Get regular eye exams. Even if you do not wear glasses. See one of our doctors at least every 2 years between the ages of 18-60 – or, annually for patients over 60. If you have any question or concern about your eye health, we are always just a phone call or email away at Center for Sight.
As mom used to say – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
3985 W. 106th St., Ste. 120, Carmel, IN 46032