Most people are used to the convenience of being able to book an appointment with an eye specialist to keep their eyes healthy. It’s as easy as typing “eye specialist Johannesburg” and sending an email. But taking care of your eyes goes beyond the occasional visit to a specialist. There are habits you can form to keep your eyes in optimum condition. Here are a few:
You are what you eat, which is why the food on your plate is the start of good eye health. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C and E are thought to prevent age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. You can get your fill of these nutrients and vitamins from green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards; or from oily fish such as salmon and tuna.
Keeping your eyes glued to your phone or computer screen can cause eyestrain, blurry vision and dry eyes. You can protect your eyes by:
• Making sure your glasses or contact lens prescription is up to date and good for looking at a computer screen.
• Using an anti-glare screen.
• Blinking more when your eyes feel dry.
• Getting up at least every two hours to take a 15-minute break from your computer.
Sunglasses aren’t reserved for trips to the beach. If you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors (e.g. if you’re gardening), it’s best to wear a pair of shades that will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The ideal pair of shades should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Smoking damages your eyes in a number of ways. It increases your chances of developing cataracts, causes damage to your optic nerve and is one of the causes of macular degeneration. If you’ve tried to quit smoking before only to start again, give it another go. The more times you attempt to quit, the more likely you are to finally kick the habit.
If you regularly perform handiwork at home with power tools, you need to wear safety goggles. Whether it’s welding or cutting wood, each task presents the possibility of ocular injury. Investing in a pair of safety goggles will remove the need to see a doctor, as the threat of having a splinter or welding spark lodge itself into your eye is all but eliminated.
Follow these tips to ensure your eyes do not sustain unnecessary damage.
About Dr. Sachin Bawa
Sachin Bawa is a founder of Dr. Sachin Bawa Cataract and Vision Clinic. He is a qualified ophthalmic surgeon for more than 9 years. He holds a medical degree from the University of Witswatersrand which he completed in 2004.