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Eyes are very important organs as they provide you with the ability to process visual detail and detect light. However, because your eyes are exposed to harsh climate and pollutants, they can get spoilt. Here are a few basic tips you can follow to take care of your eyes:
- Eye yoga: Eye Yoga is an ancient method of relaxing your eyes and is also known as “palming”. All you need to do is cup your palms and place them over closed eyes in a way wherein your fingertips are touching your forehead. This helps in blocking out light completely. While cupping your eyes, take long, deep breaths which can help relax your eyes and mind.
- Eat healthy: It is important to eat healthy in order to maintain healthy eyes. Medical practitioners believe that vitamins have anti oxidants which slow down age related problems in the eye. You should be eating foods rich in Vitamin A, C and E, Zinc rich foods and foods with folic acid. Food items such as carrots, lettuce, spinach and kale can help in keeping your eyes healthy for longer.
- Wear dark sunglasses: Every time your eyes are exposed to the sun, they have to tolerate the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. The ultraviolet rays can prove to be very damaging for your eyes as they affect the optic nerve. Hence, you should always wear dark coloured sunglasses in the sun to protect your eyes.
- Take breaks: Staring at a computer screen or a mobile screen all day can prove to be very harmful to your eyes. According to a study, when you stare a screen for too long, you blink lesser. This can lead to dry eyes.
- Get required rest: It is important to rest your eyes and free them of the strain they endure daily. Hence, you should aim to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep time daily to give them the required rest time.
- Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes can be harmful for your eyes as it increases chances of macular degeneration and cataracts. Smoking also increases chances of optic nerve damage as it impairs blood circulation to the eyes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.
Eyes need as much regular exercise to keep them healthy as any other organ of the body. Eye exercises are usually designed to provide strength to eye muscles, while improving focus, allowing flexible eye movements and helping stimulate the vision centre of the brain. Eye exercises might not necessarily improve eyesight but they help in preventing eye problems and maintaining the correct eyesight level.
Here are 4 Eye exercises that can help strengthen the eye muscles and improve your vision:
1. Blinking - Your eyes get strained due to long hours of sitting at the computer or television and you tend to blink less. Whenever you blink, your eyes stay in darkness for a few microseconds that help to keep the eyes fresh, while reducing eye strain.
2. Palming - This exercise involves three steps:
- Taking a few deep breaths before beginning the exercise
- Make yourself comfortable by resting your elbows on your knees and slowly closing your eyes
- Cover your eyes with the cup of your palm, place your fingers on the forehead and the heel of your hand on your cheekbone
This exercise helps in achieving inner peace and calm and also helps in resting your mind.
3. Figure of eight - This exercise helps in strengthening the eye muscles and provides flexibility. In this exercise, you need to imagine a huge eight in front of your eyes. Slowly turn the 8 on its side. With the help of your eyes slowly trace the figure of 8. Repeat it the other way after a few minutes.
4. Near and far focusing - This exercise helps in strengthening the eye muscles and improves the vision of your eyes. It involves the following steps:
- Either sit or stand in a comfortable position for 2-3 minutes
- Bring your thumb about 10 inches in front of your eyes and try to focus on it
- Now try focusing on an object that is about 10-20 feet in front of your eyes
- Try switching between focusing on the other object and your thumb on each deep breath
Sunglasses are an important part of the accessories you use in summer or any time of the year. They help you to look fashionable and stylish and also make a pretty good style statement. But is that the only job of sunglasses? Or do they have something more to them? Here are a few reasons why sunglasses are more than just a style statement:
1. Decrease in eye problems: Generally, you use sunscreen to protect your skin from the Sun’s glare. Similarly, sunglasses protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun. It is extremely important for you to protect the eyes so that the harmful UV rays cannot enter the sensitive eye tissue and harm them. If you do not use sunglasses, then you have a higher chance of damaging your eye tissue than a person who uses them regularly. Bear in mind that the strong UV rays can cause serious permanent damage to your eyes.
2. Protection from other environmental components: Not only is the sun harmful to your eyes, but also the wind can be extremely dangerous for them. Dirt, sand, dust particles can fly into your eyes even when just a breeze is blowing. On a windy day, damage can be much more. If you are wearing sunglasses when out on a windy day, they act like a shield to your eyes against the wind and the particles,which might enter your eye.
3. Helps clear vision: It s often difficult to have a clear vision when out in the Sun. The bright sunlight doesn’t give you the clarity in vision. Without protection, you will have reduced vision as the bright glare of the Sun might cause you discomfort in your eyes and limit your vision as you will have to squint in the bright light.
4. Helps prevent aging: Although it might sound a bit surprising, but wearing sunglasses actually helps in prevent aging. The bright glare of the sun causes you to squint and this causes the age lines to appear. So, if you wear sunglasses and your eyes are protected from the bright sunlight, then you will not be squinting anymore, and hence it will not cause the age lines to appear before time.
So now, before you think that sunglasses only make you look good, think again about how they actually do much more than that. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataract, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataract can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend's face. Cataract often develops slowly and doesn't disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataract will eventually interfere with your vision.
At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.
Causes of Cataracts: Cataracts happens when protein builds up on the lens of your eye, making it cloudy. This prevents light from passing clearly through the lens, causing some loss of vision. New lens cells form on the outside of the lens, and the older cells are compacted into the center of the lens, forming the cataract.
Types of cataract include:
- Age-related cataract: These cataracts form because of of aging.
- Congenital Cataract: Babies are sometimes born with cataracts as a result of an infection, injury, or poor development before they were born, or they may develop during childhood.
- Secondary Cataract: These develop as a result of other medical conditions, like diabetes, or exposure to toxic substances, certain drugs (such as corticosteroids or diuretics), ultraviolet light, or radiation.
- Traumatic cataract: These form after an injury to the eye.
Other thing that can raise your risk of getting cataract includes cigarette smoke, air pollution and heavy drinking.
Symptoms of Cataracts:
- Clouded, blurred or dim vision
- Increasing difficulty with vision at night
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing 'halos' around lights
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Double vision in a single eye
- Surgery: Surgical removal of a cataract is the first and foremost way of dealing with it. The clouded lens is usually removed and is then replaced with a new, artificial lens that will give you improved vision.
- Visual Aids: These aids include lens and eye glasses that will help you see better after the surgery. Cataract glasses usually come in thick and heavy structure. Also, intraocular lens and contact lens can be used by adults who have undergone the surgery. The constant need to remove, clean and re apply makes it inappropriate for young children. Low vision aids can be used before surgery as well, to ensure that best use of the remaining vision is made with the help of video enlargement software and other adaptive means.
- Medication: The use of eye drops and other medication can also help in improving vision without the actual surgery for cataract removal. This is a short term solution that can be prescribed by the ophthalmologist whom you visit. The doctor will usually study the extent of the damage and prescribe this kind of medication for cases that are mild. But finally, surgery will have to be carried out as the progression of the cataract is guaranteed in all cases.
- Soft Lighting: At home and at work, you can make use of soft lighting so that there is less pressure on the eye lens. Also, soft lighting will help you see better without the glare blocking your vision in case of the presence of a cataract.
- Avoiding Intricate Work: One must avoid hobbies and work that require unblinking attention or many hours as this can put a strain on the eyes and even lead to severe headaches. This includes painting, embroidery and carving related activities.
Dealing with a cataract is a matter of going in for surgery and making certain lifestyle changes to avoid injuries due to impaired vision.
Glaucoma: An Overview
This disease can be developed or inherited; it usually refers to the accumulation of fluid inside a person's eyes leading to excessive pressure on his or her optic nerve.
How to Diagnose the Symptoms of Glaucoma:
- A Fundamental Eye Examination: An experienced eye doctor will check the dilated pupils of your eyes so as to take a closer look at the optic nerve that further discerns the stage of glaucoma a patient is in. Doctors tend to keep track on the sequential progression of glaucoma and its specific mode of treatment through pictures of the optic nerve taken during an examination.
- Tonometry may also be performed: Signs of Glaucoma may be spotted through the procedure called tonometry where the doctor will test a person's eye pressure and so on so forth. A visual field test might also be conducted to check if the patient can see things at the periphery of his line of vision.
Symptoms that will help a doctor identify this condition in people:
- A loss of peripheral vision is experienced in the early stages of glaucoma.
- A person may see halos when in the presence of bright lights.
- Your eyes could turn red.
- Hazy or blurry vision is a problem faced by young children affected with glaucoma.
- Glaucoma could be accompanied by headaches and eye pain.
- An affected person might repeatedly feel nauseous.
Ways to Treat Glaucoma:
- Microsurgery can effectively treat Glaucoma: Microsurgery can be performed in various ways. There is one way in which a channel is made to pump out the fluid creating extra pressure on the optic nerve. This method is referred to as trabeculectomy.
- Eye Drops: Eye drops can relieve you from painful glaucoma. They are known to control the formation of excess fluid in a person's eye. In some cases, they can induce the accumulating fluid to flow out of the patient's eyes.
- Laser Treatment: Laser surgeries can be undertaken to get rid of glaucoma. Laser can help in moving out fluid from the eyes of the affected person. It successfully hinders fluid blockage as well. There are different kinds of laser treatments available to cure glaucoma.
Good eyesight can be an outcome of a diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C. Including certain foods in your diet can be directly beneficial for your eye health and can improve your vision. Here is a list of 5 foods which will help you combat age-related vision problems and will supplement your overall eye health.
1. Eggs - Eggs are rich in vitamin A and lutein, which help you combat age-related vision problems and night blindness. Eggs are also beneficial for dry eyes and improving your eye health. Egg yolks are considered to be one of the best foods for your eyes and should be included in your regular diet. It also helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is one of the primary causes of blindness in the 60+ age group.
2. Leafy Greens - Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin which reduce the chance of cataracts. It is best to consume them raw as they have more antioxidants when uncooked. Other green vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, and zucchini are rich in lutein and play an important part in preventing age-related vision problems.
3. Carrots - Carrots improve your overall eye health as it contains vitamin A, the lack of which is one of the leading causes of loss of vision. The orange hue in carrots is due to Beta-carotene which helps the retina function better. Other foods rich in beta carotene are apricots, mangoes, pumpkin and cantaloupe which also contribute to healthy eyes. So make sure you include them in your diet.
4. Almonds - Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which prevents macular degeneration. Include a handful in your daily diet as it not only improves your eyesight but also effectively lowers cholesterol and prevents heart diseases. Nuts like pistachios and walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids which contribute to the maintenance of your vision.
5. Citrus Fruits and Berries - Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and lemons are rich vitamin C which reduces the risk macular degeneration and cataracts. Blueberries also aid in the protection of the retina from damage caused due to sunlight and oxygen.
Related Tip: 8 Tips to Keep Your Eyes Cool and Protected During the Summer