Who thinks of eye health until something happens? Here’s a guest post by Fraser Strand, who believes in using technology to help us improve our health and being proactive so we catch possible health threats before they become an issue.
Sight is perhaps the most crucial sense we humans possess, but like most things we only realize how incredible our eyes are when they’re damaged or under threat. It’s fundamental to take the proper precautions to ensure our sight remains as healthy as possible, below are five tips from the experts to help keep your eyes in the best of health…
1. Regular Eye Tests. (Don’t Worry There’s an app for that).
A recent development from MIT has created a technology which allows you to perform basic eye tests from your own phone using a small snap-on attachment. This nifty health gadget could revolutionize (and democratize) basic eye-health care across the globe. Labelled the “NETRA-G” it uses intelligently simple hardware with high-tech software via a mobile app which provides a mini eye-test similar to the classic A-Z chart.
Dr Simon Barnard, of Barnard Levit Opticians London, comments:
“there are many parts of the world where visual handicap can be helped by the diagnosis of significant short or long sight and astigmatism for which spectacles can be provided. The NETRA technology looks very promising because it will potentially allow inexpensive refractions to be carried out by non-trained personnel. If it is as accurate as hoped, it is likely to be most helpful to teenagers, as well as young and middle-aged adults”.
2. Work Smart – Take Regular Breaks
Eye strain can damage your eye sight and cause terminal migraines. With 60% of the global-north now working at desks on a daily basis, the majority of us need to start thinking about how to protect our eyes. But what can you do if your job requires constant computer use?
Simple answer: take regular breaks. Focus on something further than 4-5 meters away and just let your eyes relax. Aim to do this every 15-20 minutes, and if you don’t remember, then you can get an app for your computer which gives you a gentle reminder and makes sure you don’t forget to look after yourself (try Time Out for Mac or Eye Defender for PC).
3. Keep Your Weight Down
Weight-related diseases such as Diabetes can damage your blood vessels and cause blood to leak into the center of your eyes causing blurred vision and blindness. The relationship between your weight and damaging eye-conditions like diabetes is becoming more and more of a concern for health care professionals across the world and the overwhelming advice is to ensure your weight remains at a healthy level at all costs.
To do this, avoid fatty foods with high levels of sugar and fat whilst ensuring regular exercise, this doesn’t have to be extreme (just 30 minutes three times a week of something, whether that’s walking to work or some squats in front of the TV). Not only will this help reduce the risk of weight-related issues but will also help keep your eyes in prime condition, in fact Williams PT found that this decreases your likelihood of visual degeneration by 70%.
4. Eat Well & Stop Smoking
As you get older, diet plays an increasingly important part in your eye health. But if you leave it until you’re 70 then certain habits may be too hard to give up, so the simple conclusion is: start now. Switch from white starchy breads to whole grains and fibrous foods such as brown bread and brown pasta. Avoid eating more than 2,000 mg of salt wherever possible as this increases your chance of getting cataracts and stay hydrated to avoid dry eyes.
Smoking tobacco significantly increases your risk of macular degeneration (partial blindness), cataracts, and can cause permanent injury to your optic nerve. So in addition to the well-known cancer risk, smoking is extremely damaging to your eye health. Cutting down or quitting will be one of the cheapest and most effective things you can do to protect them.
5. Wear Prescription Sunglasses
In the Summertime when the weather if fine, we tend to forget about life’s worries and ignore our eyes. But as we enjoy the sun’s warm rays, they are slowly cooking our retinas and causing potentially permanent damage.
Sunglasses are an absolute must, but for those of us who need glasses, this can be an annoying problem to worry about. Luckily there are a range of designer brands such as Ray Ban, Cartier, and Paul Smith who offer prescription sunglasses to ensure that you can look after your eyes without losing style.
Sun protection is essential for optimum eye health so don’t forget to wear sunglasses as often as possible and avoid naked eyes in the midday sun whenever you can.
If you’re interested in checking the current health of your eyes, book an eye test with Barnard Levit or consult your nearest opticians.
About the Author
Fraser Strand writes about health and technology, he is particularly interested in the combination of both sectors and is continually looking for the next best thing to help improve health and fitness. He writes for several publications including UK Gadget Review and Modern Style Review.
Do you have any tips to share that will improve our eye health?