It’s easy to forget how important eye health is, until a problem comes up. Here are some easy, commonsense tips to help avoid macular degeneration, cataracts, blurry “computer” vision and more.<p.
1. Eat greens. Ingesting lots of leafy green vegetables like spinach, collard greens and kale help avoid macular degeneration. (The “macula” is an area at the back of the eye that enables us to see fine details. When the macula doesn’t work, there is blurriness or darkness in the center of our vision).
2. Take vitamins. There are supplements made specifically for eye health. Be sure that they include these: Vitamins A, C, E and B2 and the minerals zinc and selenium.
3. Keep your eyes hydrated. A simple saline solution can help to lubricate and soothe eyes. (Be sure to check with your doctor if you experience stinging or burning in your eyes, or a sandy or gritty feeling, or you don’t produce tears when you cry. These symptoms could indicate “dry eye,” a condition that needs medical attention).
4. Eat apricots and blueberries. Blueberries are associated with reduction of eye fatigue and apricots are rich in beta carotene and lycopene, both of which promote good vision.
5. Get plenty of Omega 3 fish oil. It helps clear eyesight and eye health. (Heart-healthy diets in general tend to be good for the eyes as well, since blood circulation is so important to eye health).
6. Pamper your eyes. Try placing two slices of soothing cucumber over closed eyes for 15 minutes. It cools and refreshes the eyes.
7. Drink tea. It’s thought that drinking tea might help to deter cataracts.
8. Try Bilberry. This herbal remedy, according to some herbalists, can help to improve night vision.
9. Wear UV filtering sunglasses. Harmful UVA and UVB rays can contribute to cataracts.
10. Give them a break. If you work at a computer, remember the 20/20/20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes. For 20 seconds, look at something 20 feet away or farther. This allows your eyes to refocus and relax and prevents the blurry vision that can occur by staring at a computer screen for too long.
These common sense tips, in addition to regular visits to a qualified ophthalmologist, will help your eyes stay healthy for years to come.
By Lynn Behrendt, contributing writer to Green Living at Care2.com