8 tips for healthy eyes

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Not only are our eyes our windows to the world, but from birth to old age, 80% of our learning happens through visual processing.  Fascinating, huh?

With our reliance on our devices and LED lit screens, it has never been more important to take care of our eyes. Vision loss and sight problems are mainly influenced by environmental factors; which is good news because it means there are steps we can take to prevent both.

Here are some simple steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of maintaining a crystal clear view of the world for years to come.

  1. Eat foods with omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, beta carrotene, zinc and vitamins C and E – particularly leafy green vegetables, fresh oily fish (like salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, anchovies and trout), high protein foods (like almonds, cashews, and eggs) citrus fruits and berries. Your parent’s were right when they said eating vegetables will help you see in the dark (well, sort of).
  2. Take regular breaks from your devices – constant staring at screens can lead to straining, dry eyes, as well as headaches and back and shoulder pain. Every 20 minutes look away from your screens for at least 20 seconds, if you’re working more than 2 hours, take a 15 minute break (tell your boss that’s an order from OMG, any problems, send him/her our way!).
  3. Get moving –  vision impairment conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration have been linked with sedentary lifestyles. Exercise improves blood flow to the retina and optic nerve which is essential for healthy eyes.
  4. Quit smoking!  This shouldn’t even have to be said, but stopping smoking helps with a multitude of body functions, and eye sight is one of them.  Smoking increases the chances of developing cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration. Yet another reason to quit for good!
  5. Check your family history – eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and colour blindness are all strongly influenced by genetics, although glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts can be attributed to both hereditary and environment influences.  If you do have a family history of eye conditions, following all the tips we’ve outlined can significantly lower you chances of developing these.
  6. Maintain a healthy weight – obesity has been linked with cataracts, glaucoma, maculopathy, and diabetic retinopathy.
  7. Get regular eye checks – all children should have an eye exam before kindergarten, as vision loss or sight problems from the age of three are not uncommon and this can lead to attention loss in the classroom.  Everyone is different and vision loss can occur at any time, keep a yearly appointment for an eye exam to keep any sight issues at bay.
  8. Wear sunnies – UV damage is just as bad for our eyes as it is our skin, too much sun exposure to the eyes can result in cataracts and macular degeneration. Always purchase polarised sunglasses that offer 99-100% UVA & UVB ray protection.

Oh, and cheap sunglasses almost never offer the proper protection your eye needs, so you have a legit excuse to splurge on the real ones!

If  you need some new shades for summer head to www.visiondirect.com.au where you can have as much fun as I did picking a pair.

 

This post is sponsored

 

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Zara is a healthy home coach and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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