You can keep your eyes well into your golden years. Dr Allan Fong, Head & Senior Consultant from the Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), shares 11 ways how.
We rely on our eyes to see and make sense of the world around us.
“However, eye diseases such as
diabetic retinopathy and
age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can lead to loss of vision, so it is important to identify and treat them early to slow down or reverse the progression. Regular eye examinations are therefore vital to a prompt diagnosis and treatment,” shares
Dr Allan Fong, Head & Senior Consultant from the
Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department at
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), a member of the
Watch the video on how to keep your eyes healthy!
11 Easy ways to maintain good eyesight
Having good vision helps you to live your best life. Here’s what you can do to keep your eyes healthy.
1. Have a balanced diet
Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate. Have a balanced diet to protect your eyes. Nutrients that help keep your eyes healthy are:
Vitamins A, C, E
Omega 3 fatty acids
Foods that you would want to include in your diet are:
Fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel)
Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens) and broccoli
Carrots and sweet potatoes
Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit)
Nuts and legumes (almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds)
Lean meat and poultry
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or having obesity increases your risk of developing
diabetes. Having diabetes puts you at risk of getting diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
3. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help to prevent and control diabetes,
high blood pressure (hypertension) and
high cholesterol. These diseases can result in certain types of eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or macular edema if not managed properly.
4. Cut down on contact lens wear
Avoid wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time. Give your eyes a rest. Overnight wear or extended wear of contact lenses for prolong periods will increase your risk of corneal ulcers that can scar your cornea or even cause blindness. Wearing contact lenses when swimming also puts your lenses at risk of contamination. If possible, swim lens-free and wait for an hour before you put your lenses back on.
5. Quit smoking (if you haven’t)
Smoking is just as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking with an increased risk of developing cataract as well as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
6. Protect your eyes from excessive sunlight
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes against harmful ultraviolet radiation. Excessive sun exposure will lead to increased risk in developing cataract, as well as age-related macular degeneration. When buying sunglasses, look out for those that block out 99 to 100 per cent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
7. Wear protective eyewear during sports and dangerous occupations
To prevent accidental damage to your eyes, wear protective eyewear. This is especially important when you play a lot of sports or are involved in occupations that put your eyes at risk. Wear safety googles or safety shields.
8. Know your risk level for eye diseases
Growing older makes a person more susceptible to age-related eye conditions. However, if you have hypertension and diabetes, it also puts you at increased risk of other eye diseases such as Diabetic Retinopathy. Thus, it is important to find out whether you are at higher risk of developing such diseases. Ask your family members about their eye history as some conditions such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration run in families.
9. Go for a comprehensive eye examination
Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health. Going for regular and comprehensive eye examinations is important in ensuring the health of your eyes. Many conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy will have no symptoms at an early stage. However, your eye doctor can detect these early for you. Knowing and being able to do something about it early is better than not knowing and being unable to save your vision when it becomes too late.
10. Go promptly for an eye consultation when symptoms appear
Similar to the above point, if you experience any symptoms such as blurring of vision, discomfort or pain, itch, sudden onset of floaters, please consult an eye doctor immediately. Delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to irreversible damage on your eyes.
11. Maintain good eye habits
Last but not least important, always maintain good eye habits. Take frequent breaks every 20 minutes from looking at your handphone or computer screen to prevent eye strain or aggravating dry eyes by looking at a distant object 20 feet or 6 metres away for 20 seconds (This is a rough guideline).
Also, apply screen filters onto your electronic devices to cut down on glare. And adjust the font size, contrast and brightness of your screen to a comfortable level for your eyes.
Remember, treat your eyes well. After all, they are the windows to your soul and essential to good quality of life.
Check out other articles on eye care:
Top 10 Common Eye Conditions
8 Ways to Prevent Computer Eye Strain
Cataract: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Glaucoma: 4 Ways to Prevent the 'Silent Thief of Sight'
AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration): What You Need to Know
Diabetic Retinopathy: How to Prevent