Vision health is one thing many of us never consider in our everyday lives. We think about diet and exercise when people ask how to be healthier, but what about making your eyes healthy specifically? While these go hand-in-hand at times, there are specific steps you can take to improve your vision health. Here are 6 things you can do every day for better vision health:
1. Avoid smoking
Smoking is not only bad for your lungs and heart, but it is bad for your eyes as well. It can deteriorate your eyesight over time, leading to vision problems later in life. Your chances of developing cataracts increases, as well as your likelihood to suffer from macular degeneration (which leads to blindness) and dry eyes. It’s best to avoid smoking for your overall health as well, so now you have more of a reason to quit if you do!
2. Wear sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses prevents all sorts of harmful rays from reaching your eyes, not just the rays of the sun. UV rays can cause serious damage to your eyes, so wearing sunglasses helps to reduce the amount getting to your eyes. It’s important to remember to wear sunglasses anytime you go outside, even if it’s cloudy or overcast, and especially if it’s snowy.
3. Get adequate sleep
Our bodies require about eight hours of sleep each night, much many of us are guilty of not getting (at least not on a regular basis). Not getting enough sleep leads to your eyes becoming dry and “overworked,” putting a strain on your vision. Your eyes may feel itchy and appear bloodshot, which is indicative of not sleeping enough. They need a rest as much as the rest of you, so planning ahead to get your eight hours every night is essential to maintaining good vision health.
4. Reduce screen time
Staring at screens for most of our day is common. Many of us work on or with computers frequently, or when we leave work we sit down to watch TV. By reducing your time staring at screens, it reduces the likelihood of developing digital eye strain, which leads to your eyes becoming dry and vision becoming less sharp throughout the day. Take a break next time you get the chance and your eyes will thank you!
5. Drink plenty of water
It’s important to drink water every single day, even if you don’t drink the recommended amount. Drinking water is not only good for your skin and the rest of your body, but it’s good for your eyes! Your eyes are coated with a film, and if your body isn’t properly hydrated, the film quicker and your eyes become dry. By drinking water, it helps your eyes to stay hydrated throughout the day.
6. Eat a balanced diet
Eating your fruits and veggies is helpful to your whole body, not just your physique. Essential vitamins and minerals can be found in many raw (and some cooked) foods, and they can help to keep your eyes healthier for a longer time. Your mother wasn’t joking when she told you to eat your vegetables as a child—she was setting you up for success!