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Prevent Eye Damage in 7 Simple Steps

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The old adage goes, once you hit 40, you’ll need glasses. But does this have to be true? New research shows that there just might be a way to prevent the need for glasses as you age. Read more about the findings below.

Do you think losing your vision is a normal sign of aging? Is it inevitable that you will need glasses and have eye problems as you get older?

Although we often assume that eye problems are a normal sign of aging, what we consider to be normal may just be a sign of our poor diets. New evidence suggests that age-related eye deterioration (called age-related mauler degeneration or AMD) may actually be entirely preventable and even reversible. Read more about how to prevent and reverse eye damage below:

What Causes Eye Damage?

According to the National Eye Institute, AMD is the number one cause of blindness in the elderly. AMD can occur through two means, referred to as “dry” and “wet” AMD. Dry AMD is the mild version of eye damage that causes slow-progressing symptoms. Wet AMD is much more severe and causes the blood vessels behind your eye to expand, which causes your vision to deteriorate rapidly. A common symptom of wet AMD is loss of vision in the center of the eye.

Eye damage is caused by a number of factors. According to one 2015 study conducted in China, the modern lifestyle of an unhealthy diet and a large amount of screen time advances eye problems faster.

The study authors found that children who played outside for 40 minutes a day were much less likely to have eye problems than children who played outside for less than 40 minutes per day.

Is AMD Preventable?

According to a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Rahul N. Khurana, AMD is preventable in the early stages. He suggests that according to data found in a large Age-Related Eye Disease Study, it is possible to cut the risk of damaging your eyes by 25 percent if you regularly eat or take a supplement containing the following ingredients:

Supplements for Eye Health
  • 500 mg of vitamin C
  • 10 mg of lutein
  • 1 mg of zeazathin
  • 80 mg of zinc
  • 400 IU of vitamin E
  • 2 mg of copper

By making small lifestyle and diet changes, you may be able to prevent further eye damage, slow the progression of existing eye damage, or even reverse some existing eye damage. However, it takes a commitment to eat foods and live in such a way to protect your eye health.

Your Eyes Need Antioxidants

According to studies, eye damage is caused by free radical damage to the eyes. Eating a lot of antioxidants can help fight this from happening and keep your eyes healthy and strong. Foods that are particularly beneficial for eyes include:

  • Blueberries
  • Black currents
  • Bilberries
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Yellow vegetables
  • Carrots
  • Omega-3 fats
  • Green tea
  • Cherries
  • Citrus fruit
  • Eggs

Outdoor Time is a Necessity

Today, myopia is a common eye condition thanks to our extended screen time. According to health researchers, myopia, occurs when the eye has trouble focusing on distant objects and they appear blurry. myopia occurs when a person spends too long looking at object close to their face and not enough time looking off into the distance.

Researchers in the Chinese study from 2015 found that early intervention was key for preventing the development of myopia. When children played outside for 40 minutes a day, their eyes had time to strengthen their ability to look into the distance. This improved overall eye health and lessened the child’s chances of developing myopia.

Eye experts agree that the practice of switching focus between near and far objects can significantly improve eye health. Even if you can’t get outside for 40 minutes a day, take a “distance break” every hour at work if you spend most of your time staring at objects close to your face.

Computer workers are not the only profession with this problem. Many manufacturing jobs and manual labor jobs also cause focusing issues if time is not taken to focus the eyes on distant objects. During your eye break, focus on something far away for about five minutes, if possible.

Look out a window or at an object as far away from you as you can see. This will help naturally prevent some of the constant strain and damage from examining objects that are only as far away as the bridge of your nose.

Computers Hurt Your Eyes

Computers are harmful for your eyes in multiple ways. The not only cause damage by forcing you to always look at objects near your face, but they cause other issues due to their design. Most computer screens have a frame rate or refresh, which is the number of time the screen flashes in a second.

Although you don’t notice this when looking at the display, the constant flicker can harm your eyes. Use the following simple tips to reduce screen-related eye damage: Reduce screen glare Older screens had significant glare that was damaging to the eyes but newer screens have much less glare. Nevertheless, if your screen is too bright for a room, it will cause glare damage. Using a bright monitor screen in a dark room can quickly cause vision problems.

Glare can also be caused by sunlight hitting the screen or a bright light in the room hitting the screen. You can install anti-glare software that will reduce the amount of glare produced by your screen. Position the screen correctly If your screen is in the wrong position, it can hurt your eyes.

Your screen should be at least an arm’s length away from you and you should be able to look slightly down at the screen. This is the optimal position for preventing eye damage.

Lifestyle and Diet are Important for Eye Health

It’s not just computer screens and lack of outdoor time that is damaging our eyes.

A range of factors will influence your vision and how much vision loss you will experience as you age. The following can contribute to eye problems and AMD:

Smoking

Smoking increases the number of free radicals in the body. As free radicals lead to eye damage, smoking may directly cause greater eye damage.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure causes damage to the eyes. The blood vessels in the eyes are delicate, and too much pressure can cause significant damage to the eyes that is difficult or imposable to reverse. Avoid stress, eat healthy, and exercise regularly to keep your blood pressure low.

Junk Food

Junk food can hurt your eyes both directly and indirectly. Many processed foods have damaging ingredients that raise blood pressure, cause inflammation, and encourage the spread of free radicals, which are all bad for the eyes. Additionally, if you are eating junk food you are eating less healthy food, which will leave your eyes lacking in the nutrients they need to remain healthy.

Aspartame

Aspartame has many negative health effects, but one of the biggest is its potential to cause vision problems. According to a 2003 report from the FDA, 25 percent of side effects reported from the use of aspartame involved vision damage and eye problems.

You Can Protect Your Eye Health

You don’t have to lose your vision or be doomed to wearing glasses. There is enough evidence to suggest that not all eye damage is inevitable. If you think of your eyes like your teeth, and take daily steps to keep them healthy, then you will have better vision throughout your life. Even if you do see some signs of vision loss and AMD, it will likely be much less damaging than if you spent your entire life abusing your eyes and eating junk food. In the quest for better health, don’t neglect your eyes.

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