Three Tips for Healthy Eyes in 2015

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 23-Jan-2015

The three keys to a healthy body are eating right, exercising and taking time to rest. The same goes for your eyes. If you want to have better vision in 2015, follow these three simple tips.

1. Eat a diet rich in nutrients. Getting the right dose of vitamins and minerals can help protect your eyes and prevent a number of eye conditions.

  • Vitamin A helps prevent night vision problems, dry eyes, eye infections, cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Zinc isan antioxidant that helps the body absorb vitamin A. It has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and night blindness.
  • Carotenoidshelp protect the retina from damage by the sun’s rays and prevent macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxathin are two carotenoids that are particularly good for your eyes. These can be found in yellow, orange and red foods, as well as dark leafy greens and egg yolks.
  • Sulfur, cysteine, and lecithin, which are found in foods like garlic, onions, shallots and capers, can help protect cataracts from forming on the lens of the eye.
  • DHA, a fatty acid found in fish like wild salmon, sardines, cod and mackerel, provides structural support to the cell membranes, which in turn boosts eye health.

2. Exercise your eyes. Just like you might lift weights or go for a run to strengthen the muscles in your body, eye exercises work to strengthen the muscles in your eyes and may even help prevent floaters. Here are a few eye exercises you can do each day to keep your eyes strong:

  • Blinking:Frequent blinking helps prevent eyestrain and can keep the eyes relaxed. When someone’s in front of a TV or computer screen, they blink less than they would when performing other activities. When you’re working on your computer, give your eyes a break with the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, shift your focus to an object 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds. Concentrate on blinking while your eyes focus on a faraway object.
  • Palming: This exercise is simply designed to allow your eyes to rest. Cover both eyes with the palm of your hands for a few minutes. While your eyes are covered, keep them open and continue to blink. Palming may also help reduce eyestrain from constant computer work.
  • Focusing:Hold your hand about 10 inches from your face, with your thumb in the hitchhike position. Locate an object about 20 feet in front of you. Every few seconds, shift your focus from your thumb, which is near to your face, to the other object, which is far away. This exercise will help improve focus at near and far distances.
  • Zooming: With your thumb in the same position, move it close to your face (about three inches from your nose) and back out until your arm is outstretched. Move it back and forth several times, allowing your vision to “zoom” in and out, keeping your eyes focused on your thumb the whole time.
  • Figure eight: Slowly trace an imaginary, horizontal figure eight with your eyes. Move your eyes in one direction for a few minutes, then switch and move them in the other direction.

3. Rest your eyes. Your body needs rest to stay healthy, and so do your eyes. Sleep gives your eyes time to repair and recover from the day. Rest is especially important if you have a desk job that requires you to look at a screen for hours on end. Use these tips to give your eyes time to rest:

  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend looking at a computer screen, shift your gaze away from the screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep can worsen eyestrain.
  • Pay attention to how your eyes feel. If your eyes are tired or sore, it is time to take a break. Plan to give your eyes a 10-minute break from the computer screen or the book you’re reading once every hour or two.
  • Take out your contacts. If you wear contact lenses, try to wear your eyeglasses instead of contacts when working on the computer for long periods of time.

While eating healthy, exercising your eyes and resting are all important for strong, healthy eyes, doing these things does not make you immune to developing eye problems. Keep up with your routine eye exams to ensure your eyes stay healthy for years to come.

Categories: Eye Health
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