Just because modern medicine is becoming increasingly fantastic, doesn't mean you should stop taking care of yourself. In fact, despite the constant advances in medical research, more and more doctors are looking at preventative medicine as a means of decreasing medical risk. Although preventative medical techniques won't be able to stop health complications caused by genetics, age, or uncontrollable environmental factors—it can help to slow the affects.
So, what are some of these preventative medicinal techniques?
First of all, you should consider eating a healthy diet. Your eyes, much like the rest of your body, requires nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to function properly. Not all foods provide the right nutritional value for your eyes, so it is best to keep that in mind when going grocery shopping. Coincidentally, the best foods for your eyes tend to be ones that are brightly colored and easily noticeable from a distance such as berries, broccoli, grapefruit, carrots, and salmon. Make sure to keep a steady supply of food that has the following nutritional properties: Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin C (absorbic acid), Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Essential Fatty Acids, and Zinc.
You won't get this nutritional value from your average processed foods, and eating an excessive amount of processed food can increase your risk of developing detrimental health conditions like diabetes, which can open up a whole new can of worms in regards to eye disease.
Wait, so I just have to eat right, and then I'm all good?
Not necessarily, and like I mentioned earlier, preventative medicinal techniques are good to practice, but they won't ensure perfect vision forever. Just eating healthy alone won't be enough either—here are a few more tips to help your eyes remain healthy and function at optimum levels:
- Make sure to stay hydrated – This sort of go along with eating healthy. Like a large percentage of the human body, the eyes are made up of liquid. This means that if you are suffering from dehydration, your eyes can be negatively affected. Try your best to stay on top of hydration and drink your recommended daily intake of water, and no—Soda doesn't count.
- Wear your glasses – Don't forget to wear your glasses! If you have a prescription, then chances are there is a reason for that. Failing to consistently wear your glasses can cause eye strain and uncomfortable headaches. Another pair of glasses that is important that you don't need a prescription for are sunglasses. If you find yourself spending a lot of time outdoors, make sure to be wearing the proper UV protective lenses, so you don't suffer damage due to over-exposure from the sun.
- Exercise – A big part of living healthy is maintaining a stead exercise plan helps to improve your bodies blood flow—an essential piece of the healthy vision puzzle. Strength training and cardio exercises boost your metabolism which helps prevent diabetes. You can actually exercise your eyes much like the rest of your body using proper techniques such as: Focusing on a small object and bringing it toward your nose to help boost your ability to change focus—particularly useful if you spend a lot of time in an office working in front of a computer. You can also combat eye fatigue by using a warm compress on your eyes at night before you sleep.
- Catch some Z's – Eye strain can come from more than just staring at screens all day long, in fact, stress can cause eye discomfort and even hurt your eye health over time. If you find you are under a lot of stress, it can help your eyes and temperament to take short breaks to rest your eyes. Don't forget to get the proper amount of sleep at night and most importantly, if you wear them, remove your contacts before going to sleep!
Living a healthy lifestyle is difficult, especially with all the delicious unhealthy foods that are so accessible on a daily basis, but is one of the best methods of protecting your eyes from eye disease and helping to ensure your vision stays healthy and clear. If you feel your eyes condition is continuing to get worse at an accelerated rate, it is best to see your eye doctor to ensure medical attention isn't necessary.