Whether you wear glasses or have perfect 20/20 vision, paying attention to your eye health can ensure that your sight is protected for a lifetime. Read on for six tips you can use to help improve your eye health, which is particularly important for older adults whose vision naturally diminishes with age.
1. Consume Beta Carotene
Eating carrots to improve your vision isn't just an old wives tale. The beta carotene in carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and greens is converted into Vitamin A, which improves not only eye health but also immune system function. Foods with Vitamin C, such as bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are also good for your eyes.
2. Avoid Drying Your Eyes
When you're running the heat or air conditioning in your car, avoid pointing the vents directly at your eyes, which diminishes moisture. Long-term drying of the eyes can lead to abrasions and in extreme cases, even blindness.
3. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking if you do smoke is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health, and that includes eye health. Smoking can cause issues like cataracts, glaucoma, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration, all of which can potentially lead to blindness.
4. Rest Your Eyes Regularly
Many of us spend the workday looking at a computer screen, but the effects can be detrimental to eye health. According to the Council for Research Excellence, middle-aged Americans spend an average of 9.5 hours a day looking at a smartphone or computer screen. For every 50 minutes you spend looking at a screen, spend 10 minutes resting your eyes. It's also important to get a full eight hours of sleep each night for maximum eye health.
5. Always Wear Sunglasses
Even if it's cloudy outside, sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Look for glasses with a sticker from the American National Standards Institute; this distinction ensures that the lenses block out at least 75 percent of harmful rays. If you're going to the beach or headed out for a long period of time in the sun, add a wide-brimmed hat.
6. Swap Coffee for Green Tea
Green tea helps hydrate your eyes, which is important for tear production and other critical functions. It also includes antioxidants that help protect the eye from cataracts, glaucoma, and other diseases.
Even if you haven't had eye problems in the past, taking these simple steps can keep your vision sharp and clear for years to come.
Information credit to Eyeconx, a Calgary eye doctor clinic.