Living in Australia

Eye Health Care Tips!

You only get one set of eyes in your lifetime so the better you take care of them, the longer you’ll be able to have healthy, quality vision. Looking after your eyes is not something you tend to make an effort to do though.

Many of us take our eyesight for granted and we only really think about our eye health when we affected by a foreign object or we succumb to conjunctivitis.

So here’s what you need to know about eye care.

Keep your eyes clean

Our eyes do a pretty good job of keeping themselves clean and whenever they need to, they use tears as a washing agent, and eyelids to wipe everything away. But it’s important to cleanse your eyes daily too, to wash out any bodily excretions that may have dried, and to clear away any ‘blur’. When you wash your face in the morning and at night, simply flush them with clean water then dry on a clean towel.

Wearing makeup can be terrible for eye care. All that mascara, eyeshadow, eye liner and concealer on and around the eyes can introduce infections. You can avoid this though.

  • Only keep eye makeup products for 3 to 6 months once opened.
  • Regularly wash any brushes that you use to apply eye makeup.
  • Keep eye pencils sharpened to remove any layers of bacteria and regularly wash your sharpener.
  • Don’t share makeup with anyone else.
  • Wash all makeup off at night with gentle remover products.

Even men, who don’t wear makeup but use sunscreen, moisturiser and other products near their eyes need to properly cleanse for good eye care.

Treat your eyes kindly

Don’t unnecessarily stress your eyes because over time, it can lead to a slow deterioration of your eyesight.

  • Avoid wearing your contact lenses for extended periods.
  • Take breaks when using a computer monitor and look at something in the distance to change your depth of field.
  • Never look directly into the sun as strong sun exposure can contribute to the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Don’t read in dim light because it causes eye strain.
  • Wear sunglasses when out in the sun.
  • Wear your prescription glasses as and when recommended.
  • Keep your glasses clean with antibacterial wipes or clean water and a clean, soft cloth.
  • Get plenty of sleep; aim for at least 7 to 8 hours, during which time your eyes will have adequate rest.

Did you know that UV rays cause irreversible damage to eyes? And it’s not just on sunny days when you’re at the beach, either. You need to wear sunglasses when you’re near reflective surfaces like sand, snow and water or around properties such as car yards or where there are lots of glass buildings with the sun reflecting off windows.

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Have your eyes tested regularly

In general, an eye test by an optometrist is recommended at least every two years, or sooner if you notice that your vision has changed.

Even if you don’t currently wear glasses, it’s important to have an eye test so that any common medical conditions can be detected early.

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Protect your eyes against hazards

Apart from direct exposure to sunlight, there are times when you need to make sure your eyes are protected. For certain occupations like dentists, welders and laboratory technicians, the hazards are obvious.

Workplace eye protection safeguards eyes against projectile particles such as wood, metal, dust and cement, chemical fumes and splashes, radiation such as ultraviolet radiation and laser, and blood borne pathogens from bodily fluids. Depending on the work you do, you may need a face shield or helmet, goggles, safety glasses or a visor and your employer will likely be required to provide those for you.

Even in an office environment, digital eye strain can be an issue but can easily be prevented with the use of anti-glare filters which can be placed over the computer monitor. It’s also useful to ensure that any reference material you use at the computer be placed at the same distance from your eyes as the screen so you don’t have to adjust to look between each. Take a short break of a couple of minutes every 45 minutes or so to reduce eye strain as well.

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Eat for healthy eyes

Looking after your eyes matters at the dining table too. A diet that is rich in omega oils and antioxidants is most beneficial so try and consume plenty of eggs, leafy green vegies, berries and oily fish like salmon and sardines.

If you’re wondering about carrots because growing up, you were always told to eat them so you’d have good eyesight, well the answer is they do help. They won’t improve your vision but, thanks to their beta-carotene which is a precursor for vitamin A, they do contribute to good general eye health. If you were extremely deficient in vitamin A, you could be blind.

This deficiency is the reason for high instances of blindness in developing countries. If you don’t like carrots, you can still get your beta-carotene from pumpkin, rockmelon, apricots, mango and sweet potatoes.

What to do if you get conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis – also known as pinkeye – is a highly contagious inflammation of the conjunctiva, the eye’s outermost layer of the white part of the eye and also the eyelid’s inner surface. It can be painful, cause excessive tears and a discharge with pus as well as swelling of the eyelids.

Alternative remedies abound but it’s always best to check with your doctor for a proper diagnosis and perhaps pick up a prescription for antibiotic drops.

Value your eyes

Think how precious your eyesight is. Without it, life would be incredibly difficult and you would miss out on seeing beautiful things that are important to you. Looking after your eyes is far easier and really doesn’t take a lot of effort.

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