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When we think of our overall well-being, many of us forget the importance of our eye health. Our relationship to the world around us is created by how and what we perceive through our environment. This includes everything from meals to travel, or even our evening walk. Our eyes also help protect us from potential dangers like predators, rotted food or even while driving. When our ocular health is compromised, so is our quality of life.
July is Eye Injury Prevention Month, and while this may sound like a month dedicated to the importance of safety goggles (which it can be), this also means awareness of what we can do to preserve our eyes’ function and prevent injury or deterioration.
Tips on how to prolong your eye health
Firstly, the best way to protect your ocular health is through a diet balanced with vitamin A and beta carotene-rich fresh vegetables. Beta carotene is the pigment which gives produce a bright red or orange color. Once ingested, the body converts this pigment into vitamin A, which is crucial for our ocular health. Beta carotene is in fresh vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and fruits such as cantaloupe and apricots. You can find large amounts of vitamin A in leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens. Not only are vitamin A and beta carotene great for prolonged ocular health, but they also slow cognitive decline, according to Medical News Today.
Preventing eye injury can also be proactive by respecting your eyes’ stamina. For instance, if you feel your eyes straining while looking at electronic screens, a book or a newspaper for an extended amount of time, be sure to step away and give your eyes at least a half hour rest.
If you like to read before bedtime, be sure to do so in a well-lit room. Experts recommend that light sources be placed and illuminated all around you while reading. This strategy helps keep your eyes from straining to read the page as complete light helps both eliminate shadows. A well-lit room also eliminates ocular stress as the muscles do not need to adjust from a bright white page to complete darkness in the rest of your house or bedroom.
While these tips can certainly help ocular decline and injury, they cannot replace professional help. Be sure to see your ophthalmologist yearly, especially if you detect any optical changes or concerns.