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Healthy eyes and a wonderful world
‘I see trees of green, red roses too; I see them bloom for me and you; And I think to myself what a wonderful world; I see skies of blue and clouds of white ...’ – The opening lines of Louis Armstrong’s famous song truly bring home the message that we live in a world where the sense of sight makes life so worthwhile. But how often do we take our sight for granted? When was the last time you really saw the world through Armstrong’s eyes? Our eyesight is precious. Imagine what it would be like to live in a world of semi or full darkness. The thought is inconceivable. So let’s pamper our eyes; here’s how:
Nutrients for good vision
The food on your plate is the first step in protecting your eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E may help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. These nutrients are found in:
Remember that a well-balanced diet maintains a healthy weight, which lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. As many as 45% of people with diabetes develop diabetic retinopathy, which damages vision. Diabetes also increases the risk for glaucoma and cataracts.
Get that smoke out of your eyes
Smoking increases the risk of cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration.
Too much UV exposure increases your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration, so sunglasses are a must. When you choose your sunglasses, be sure to go for the kind that block 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses do a good job of protecting your eyes from the side and polarised lenses help with the sun’s glare. Contact lenses that offer UV protection are available, but it is a good idea to also use sunglasses to protect the eyelids and areas of the eye not protected by the lenses.
Safety glasses or protective goggles are important when you work with dangerous or airborne materials at home, work or play.
Computer use tips
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) occurs from frequent computer use. Almost 90% of people who use a computer for at least three hours a day suffer from some type of visual problem or complaint such as:
Protect your eye health by taking the following steps:
Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly
Adults and children need regular, comprehensive eye exams to make sure eyesight and overall health are in order.
Some age-related eye diseases, such as glaucoma, have no symptoms. By having regular eye exams, you can catch any eye problems early on when they are easier to treat.
Depending on your eye health needs, you can see either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist (medical doctors specialised in eye care) for a comprehensive eye exam. Ophthalmologists can provide general vision care, treat eye diseases, and perform eye surgery while optometrists provide eye care and treat some but not all eye diseases. Optometrists do not perform eye surgery.
A complete eye exam to protect your eyes may include the following:
If you wear contact lenses, you may need additional procedures.
If you follow the above advice you will be able to appreciate what a wonderful world it is now and deep into your future.
Natural Medicine editorial team.
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