10 steps to keep your eyes healthy
- Wear safety eye wear when appropriate to protect your eyes from sight threatening injury
- Wear ultraviolet protecting sunglasses and a hat outdoors. Ultraviolet radiation is a risk factor for conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Exercise regularly. Set a goal of moderate-intensity physical activity for 30 minutes five days a week. Studies tell us individuals who exercise regularly can reduce their risk of macular degeneration by up to 70%.
- Follow your physician’s instructions in controlling systemic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. These diseases affect eye health at a greater rate when they are not properly controlled.
- Discontinue smoking habits. Smoking has a negative effect on eye health and can worsen eye diseases such as macular degeneration and dry eye.
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants can help slow progression of eye diseases such as macular degeneration.
- Drink about 2 litres of water each day. This is especially important for those with dry eyes.
- Keep your glasses and/or contact lens prescription current. Injuries are less likely to occur when vision is at its best.
- Change contact lenses at the prescribed replacement interval and comply with intructions for contact lens hygiene.
- Have your eyes examined every year or at the frequency recommended by your optometrist. The key to good vision and health is prevention.
How to look after the hygiene of your eyes
- Hand wash : It is very important to wash and rinse hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of infection .
- Avoid rubbing your eyes
- Contact lens wearers : Use cleaning solutions as directed .
- Remove eye make-up daily : Never share make-up or the brushes / sponges with others as this significantly increases the risk of cross infection .
- Protect eyes from UV rays : Wear suitable sunglasses or goggles that have a recognized UV filter.
How to protect your eyes by good visual hygiene
1. Good Lighting :
- Source of light should be positioned so as to avoid glare from your reading material .
- Light focused on your task should be at least 3 times brighter than the background to provide adequate contrast .
- A light positioned behind and over the material works well for reading .
2. Good Posture :
- Sit upright while reading or watching television.
- While watching television make sure to sit at least 6 feet away, sitting too close can be causing you unnecessary eye fatigue.
- Position reading material at an angle of about 20 degrees from your work station.
- The most appropriate distance to hold reading material is the distance from your fist held at your eye to your elbow .
- When working on the computer , position your seat ( or screen ) so you are looking down at the top of your screen at an angle of about 15 degrees .
3. Taking breaks :
- 20-20-20 rule : It is suggested that for every 20 minutes of computer / screen work you should look 20 feet way for about 20 seconds .
- People tend to blink less than normal when they are staring at a computer screen this leads to dryness of eyes, it is called computer vision syndrome. To compensate for this reduced blinking time take a break and instill an artificial tear in the eyes as your symptoms indicate ( if prescribed by your doctor ) or make a conscious effort to blink frequently in order to restore a healthy tear film .