Nutrition and Your Eyes
Good nutrition is vital for your eye and general health. A well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits is highly recommended. Vitamins that contain antioxidants are linked to eye health according to various clinical trials and studies.
These vitamins help to maintain tissues in the eyes and healthy cells, as well as repairing any damages that occur over time.
Antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C and E. The main sources of these vitamins include green leafy vegetables, oranges, carrots, tomatoes, dried apricots, spinach and peppers. Other sources for these vitamins are eggs, teas, nuts, garlic, seeds and dairy products.
Good nutrition will help ensure that your eyes are functioning well throughout your lifetime. There are two very important nutrients that reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. The two nutrients are lutein and zeaxanthin.
These compounds are also known as xanthophylls, which contain yellow pigments found in most plants and vegetables.
Xanthophylls belong to an organic compound group called carotenoids. A high concentration of lutein appears as orange-red in color. Lutein and zeaxanthin helps to boost the antioxidant functions in the body.
This ensures that the body is well guarded against free radicals. These radicals are known to damage cells and weaken your body.
Lutein and zeaxanthin also help to block the blue light from penetrating the underlying structure of the retina. This will minimize the risk of oxidative damage caused by light which could lead to macular degeneration.
Fish oil and flaxseed oil contain dietary fatty acids that are important in controlling dry eyes. When these oils are used alone or together with eye drops, they will help reduce dry eye symptoms including stinging, burning, intermittent visual disturbances and redness.
For this reason, ophthalmologists are recommending fish oil and flaxseed oil for their patients.
The nutritional level of fish oil and flaxseed come from omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil provides high levels of alpha-linolenic acid which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid.
During digestion, this type of omega-3 is split into two compounds which are delivered throughout the body to provide the protection of cell membranes.
Macular degeneration is progressive damage to the eye’s retina which can lead to loss of vision. Dark green vegetables such as collard greens, dark green lettuce, spinach and kale have a high concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin. The two compounds will ensure that your eyes are well nourished.
Bright orange fruits contain beta carotene which is a precursor of vitamin A. Beta carotene helps the eyes to adjust to the low levels of lights in the dark or at night, and also promote healthy vision.
Wheat germ is a main source of vitamin E, which is an important ingredient in protecting the eyes against free radicals. Vitamin E can help slow down macular degeneration and progression of cataracts. Wheat germ can be sprinkled on yogurt, oatmeal, salads and mixed with smoothies.
Finally, by including kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas or mung beans, you will get zinc which helps to improve the macula at the centre part of the retina. Zinc is also used to release vitamin A available in the liver to be used in the eyes.
How Often Should you Have Eye Exams
Sight is undoubtedly one of the most valuable senses for any person. However, losing your sight is not uncommon owing to many factors. Since prevention is better than cure, taking proper care of your eyes is crucial.
One sure way to promote and maintain eye health is to go for regular eye exams at your local health care facility. For those who do not have any eye conditions, knowing how often to go for check-up is really important.
Those who have signs of diseases or conditions will be more inclined to seek help often for obvious reasons. So, how often should you have eye exams?
The frequency of going for eye exams can be determined by several factors. First, people who already have eye conditions will be advised to go for check-up often; at least twice a year. This is in a bid to manage or monitor their progress.
For babies, eye exams are part of their routine when they are taken to the pediatrician who monitors their growth. Therefore, doctors will be in a position to catch problems on their onset. Babies will be taken to hospital several times a year before the age of two and this is an ideal way for them to be monitored.
People who suffer from chronic ailments such as diabetes and hypertension will need to go for eye exams more often than others – generally at least twice a year. Failure to do so can be detrimental to sight.
For adults who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, visiting an optometrist or an ophthalmologist one a year is good. However, for people who are in perfect health, seeing an expert for an eye exam at least once in three years is advised.
This will help catch any problem early. This way, treatment can be more effective.
If you start to experience subtle signs of problems like dry eye, itchiness and pain, it is essential to book for an eye exam immediately. Many people often ignore such problems which can turn into bigger problems.
Some people suffer from mild conditions that affect the eyes, like styes. All in all, see a doctor immediately and at least once a year to ensure proper progress.
For people who are older, eye exams become more important because with age comes eye diseases. Top diseases that come with age are glaucoma and cataracts.
The good thing about eye conditions is that when caught early, they can be treated effectively. Therefore, visiting an expert for an eye exam once in a while will be to your advantage. Do not take chances or ignore problems; they can get worse.
In general, the more times you visit an eye specialist, the better your chances for perfect eye health are. Take time once a year to get checked even when you are not suffering from any condition. Your doctor will also guide you on how often you should have eye exams depending on your health state.
The Top Signs That You Need an Eye Exam
An eye exam is necessary for every person at least one a year. However, there are certain factors that might come up to inform you that you need an immediate eye exam. You always need to act fast – ignoring these problems can be detrimental.
Some of the top signs may be considered normal by some people. However, when it comes to eye health, taking chances is not an option. If you want to keep your vision as good as it is now, the following signs will indicate that you need an eye exam without fail. Do not hesitate to visit an eye specialist.
Redness, Itching and Pain
If you are unusually red and itchy in any part of your eyes, it is crucial to seek help. And if you are experiencing pain, you should not wait. These signs can indicate an infection. There are many organisms that can cause an infection in the eye and caught early, it is much easier to control the problem.
Another sign is having very dry eyes. Normally, your eyes need to be very moist to perform optimally. When they start to feel dry, it can be very uncomfortable and it is referred to as dry eye syndrome. You need a remedy for this.
Chronic Ailments Like Diabetes
If you suffer from conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, having an eye exam often is the way to go. Exams will be necessary several times a year because the ailment can wreak havoc within a short time.
It is therefore important to ensure that your eyes are being monitored at all times. If you do not know whether you have diabetes or not, this is an indicator to go for a full physical check-up. It can never hurt to check your status so as to prevent bad outcomes.
Change in Vision
If you are having double vision, seeing light flashes or generally seeing unusual things, this is a sure indicator that you need to go for an eye exam. Many people who start to suffer with eye conditions will notice that it is hard to drive at night like they used to.
These problems might cause headaches or even dizziness. In fact, many eye problems manifest with headaches. It is therefore crucial to have an eye specialist rule out an eye problem or confirm it with an exam.
If You Cannot Remember Your Last Visit
If you cannot recall your last eye exam, this is an indicator that you need to go for one. So many things happen over the years and neglecting eye health can be more costly. Get examined and know the health state of your eyes. It could go a long way in improving your quality of life.
Although some people may not have eye conditions, everyday factors like sitting in front of computers makes people susceptible to problems. Therefore, take time to really know how you can improve your eye health. This can only be done by an exam.
What to Expect during an Eye Exam
An eye exam is pivotal for all people. Those who are healthy should definitely schedule an exam at least once every two years. Those who suffer with eye conditions will need to visit the eye expert more often.
There are people who are not sure what to expect during an exam. However, there is no need to worry; the following is a good guide into all things that you can expect during an eye exam. There is nothing complicated and within a short time, you will have played your part in enhancing the health of your eyes.
Eye Health History
Your eye health history will be the first thing the doctor asks for. A technician can evaluate this history, as well as any other eye problems you may be experiencing.
At this point, it is pivotal to give your history accurately and to describe any symptoms you have properly. This will help make the exam more effective.
Vision Clarity Test
The next common step that an expert will take during an eye exam is a vision acuity test. It basically determines how well you are able to see. It forms the basis of deciding which eye glasses are most suitable, if indeed necessary.
Most people will go for exams when they realize they have a problem with vision. Therefore, the doctor will take his time here to really get to the root of the problem.
For this exam, letters are used in a chart and when you identify them accurately no matter the distance, you might not have visual problems. It is good to note that each eye is tested separately and that near vision is also tested accordingly.
Other Eye Tests
Your eye doctor will be guided by the indicators from your eyes to know which test is a priority. For example, people who have diabetes will need to undergo diabetes retinoscopy. Another common test is an eye muscle movement test. This will help catch problems with coordination.
Lazy eyes and other problems can be addressed at this point. Refraction and color vision tests are others that might be done to help assess whether you have a problem or not. Generally, an eye exam will take anything from 30 minutes to an hour.
Doctor Discusses Results
After satisfactory tests have been done, the doctor will discuss the results. If you have a problem, the eye expert will inform you about the treatment options available. Some people will have to take some prevention measures to avoid a potential problem.
All in all, the doctor will make his or her recommendations and provide treatment where necessary. For example, if you have a high eye pressure, some eye drops can be given to expand your pupils.
It is important for you to ask questions at this point during your exam. If you feel that something has not been addressed, feel free to ask for clarification. An eye exam can put all your anxieties and fears to rest.
Additionally, it is very simple and will not cost you a lot. Therefore, take advantage of this and boost your eye health. Remember, good vision is invaluable and taking simple measures can make a world of difference.
Insight into Computer Eye Strain
Computer eye strain is becoming a big problem in society today. It is a condition that causes fatigue to the eyes, leaving those affected feeling tired. It is caused by straining too much when working on your computer or any other light screen.
When people work for long periods of time on their computers, the eyes are prone to becoming itchy and red. Additionally, some people will experience tension headaches as well as pain around the eyes.
All these are common signs that computer eye strain is present. Since prevention is better than cure, there are many ways in which you can protect yourself from this as highlighted below.
Great Tips to Avoid Computer Eye Strain
The first thing to consider is the environment in which you are working and the position of your computer. A computer should always be below eye level when working. This is to make sure that the eyes are not wide open for a long time. Additionally, the computer settings should not allow intense brightness.
Room lighting is another factor that plays a big role in computer eye strain. You do not want to have too much; neither do you want to have too little. Too much light can cause fatigue to eyes while too little will cause strain.
Therefore, consider your computer and room settings and make them ideal.
To keep computer eye strain at bay, it is also wise to avoid reading very small fonts. Enlarge your text and make sure you can read it comfortably.
Another tip is to take regular breaks while working on the computer. Every 20 minutes, remove your concentration from the computer and look away to a distant object. This will help reduce strain. Additionally, blink as often as you can.
Many people rarely blink when they are reading computer text; this causes dryness and strain. Blink often to moisturize your eyes as much as possible.
It is also helpful to go for eye exams regularly; at least once a year. This way, you will be advised on the best way forward if there is anything wrong.
How to Relieve Computer Eye Strain
The sure way to treat eye strain is to stop working on the computer for some hours. Take a break and sit in a dark room with eyes closed. Resting will rejuvenate and revitalize your system.
Some people will use artificial tears to control dryness of the eyes, relieving strain. After the condition has been relieved, it is wise to employ all the above simple methods to prevent eye strain from computers.
Using anti-glare in your computer can play a critical role in keeping away bad light that may harm your eyes. Sunglasses can also come in handy to do the same. All in all, keep in mind that taking precautions is the best way to escape suffering from strain that may be caused by computers.
All Eye Drops Are Not Alike
There are many infections that affect different parts of the eye. The most common types of eye infections can be as result of viral, parasitic, bacterial and fungal infections. These infections require different types of eye drops for treatment.
Conjunctivitis is a commonly known type of eye viral infection that is very contagious and it’s often known as “ocular herpes” or “pink eye”. Acanthamoeba is a parasitic infection that is caused by certain parasites found in the soil or water that can invade your eye from a contact surface.
Bacterial infections commonly occur after complicated eye surgery or trauma.
Eye drops can be prescribed by the doctor or purchased at the pharmacy. There are many eye drops that are available over the counter depending on what they are going to be used for.
However, if you have an eye infection or are experiencing problem with your vision, it is important to seek a doctor’s advice before buying any eye drops. Serious eye problems require immediate diagnosis and treatments which can only be provided by an eye doctor.
Some eye drops are issued only when the patient has a doctor’s prescription. These types of eye drops are specialized for certain types of eye ailments and most of them are prescribed for glaucoma, bacterial infections or after eye surgery.
Preservatives can be added to the eye drops for the purpose of eradicating any presence of bacteria. People who are either allergic or have sensitive eyes may experience some reactions such as soreness, redness and irritation due to the preservative.
You can also find eye drops that are preservative free and they come in single doses. You only use them once and discard. This type of eye drop is more costly compared to the one with preservative.
Different Kinds of Eye Drops Available
* Eye drops used for correcting your dry eyes – This condition can occur as a result of many factors such as fatigue, the environment, computer use and eye surgery. Other causes include sun, being dehydrated, wind, and dry atmosphere inside an airplane. A simple relief to this problem is to use lubricating types of eye drops. These types of eye drops will add tear elements in your eyes, helping them to function better.
* Eye drops used for treating redness – Your eyes can suffer from redness condition due to allergy, infection or tiredness. Before you decide to buy the remedy, you need to see your eye doctor in order to address any underlying problem. This problem can be corrected by the use of decongestant drops. This treatment works by shrinking your blood vessels and making them look whiter.
* Eye drops used for treating itchiness – Having itchy eyes can be as result of seasonal allergies. The itchiness will make you rub your eyes more, leading to the release of histamine which makes them itchier. Antihistamine eye drops will give you relief.
* Eye drops used for treating eye infection – If your eyes are producing some discharge or they are crusty, the condition might be caused by eye infection. Antibiotic eye drops will help to fight eye infection before the problem spreads. These eye drops are available through a prescription issued by the eye doctor.
The kind of eye drop that is best will depend on the condition of your eye. Some of these conditions include itching, swelling, soreness, allergies, infection, dryness, etc. Consult your eye doctor before you decide to buy the eye drops.
Common Eye Injuries
There are many eye injuries that come in different sizes and shapes, with varying levels of severity. A number of these injuries might require immediate action by an eye doctor, while others may only require simple care at home.
Although no one likes to think about eye injuries, it’s important to know how to react when faced with a small eye injury or an emergency situation. There are guidelines that everyone needs to know in order to have confidence and be ready to handle any routine for eye injuries.
Remember that safety precautions will help you avoid eye injuries.
Most of us think that our home is an unthreatening setting, but a recent survey showed that most respondents mentioned that their eye injury occurred at home – especially in the garage, kitchen or yard.
Few people were wearing protected clothing when doing repairs or projects at home. Most of the eye injuries at home are as a result of hazardous chemicals such bleaches and cleaners getting in the eye, opening a champagne bottle, cooking food that easily splatters hot oil, and carrying repair work near your face.
Treating Minor Injuries Caused by Debris and Dirt at Home
One of the common injuries that can occur at home is corneal abrasion which is a form of a scratched eye caused by a poke or a scratch on your eye when a piece of sand is inside.
Determine if it’s a major or minor injury. Minor injuries will include getting dirt or sand in your eye and irritation caused by allergies. For minor eye injuries you should wash your eyes using warm sterile water in an eye cup.
This procedure should be repeated at least three times after every ten minutes. The other method to wash out your eyes is by using a shower head, fountain water or hose.
You can bend over to allow the water streams to constantly run through your eyes. If you feel the presence of debris, contact your eye doctor right away.
Treating Eye Allergies and Medium Injury at Home
If your eyes are irritating due to certain allergies, use the right eye drop identified for that allergy to help you soothe the burning and itching. If the effects persist, contact the eye doctor to give you a stronger prescription.
When treating a medium eye injury, you need to cover your eye with a taped patch or eye cup and then call the ophthalmologist. For minor cuts around your eye, apply a clean cloth or sterile bandage and then tape it in that place.
If the cut takes a long time to heal or you see other symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately.
Treating a Blow to Your Eye
To treat a blow to your eye or black eye due to trauma, gently apply a cold compress to the affected eye. This will help to reduce the swelling. Repeat the process at an interval of ten minutes at least four times a day.
Keep your head elevated to reduce swelling. Contact your ophthalmologist if you notice anything abnormal.
Treating Chemical Burn on Your Eye at Home
Chemical burns are supposed to be treated immediately. These burns can be caused by household cleaners or bleaches splashed into your eyes. You should flush out the chemical from your eyes as much as possible using sterile water or fountain water.
It is important to know learn how to treat common eye injuries at home before you seek professional advice. This will help you to contain the problem before it gets worse. Always contact your physician when you see something abnormal.