“The eyes are the windows to the soul”
This is a popular saying that implies it’s possible to know one’s soul, emotions etc by looking into the person’s eyes. I usually wonder what happens to the soul if these “windows” get faulty.
We can’t refute the extent to which we depend on our eyes. From the moment we wake up, our eyes take in lots of information about the world around us and sends it to the brain for processing. Shapes, colours, movements etc. This information helps our brain know what’s happening around us.
What happens if the eyes are bad and we cant get access to this information?
We need to care for our eyes more intentionally. There are ways we can care and try to improve our eyesight.
We tend to ignore fruits and vegetables in our diets, and this is wrong. They are important in maintaining good health and by extension, good eyesight. Foods rich in vitamin A, C and E, which have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, can help improve our eyesight. Good sources of these vitamins are spinach, oranges, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, peanut butter, carrots etc.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been found to improve eyesight too. So we need more fish, nuts, seeds and beans in our diet.
Carotenoids have also been shown to reduce oxidative damage. It is present in the retina. Eating leafy vegetables that are rich in this can help improve eye health too. It is also possible to take these as supplements.
It is no secret that exercise generally improves health. Exercise can help reduce the risk of diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in old age.
With that being said, blood sugar levels should be watched, this includes healthy eating.
Wearing Protective Eyewear And Sunglasses
In the course of our day to day activities, we encounter risks of eye injury. These risks can be reduced by wearing protective eyewear like safety goggles, helmets, safety glasses etc.
It’s important to note that normal glasses are not generally adequately protective, they might shatter if damaged.
Sunglasses protect against UV radiation from the sun, which can cause eye cancer, cataracts etc. So it’s important that sunglasses with adequate protection against UV rays are chosen and worn.
Regular Eye Exams
Seeing an eye care professional regularly would not only help us take care of our eyes better, it can also help us stay ahead of eye problems. These eye conditions can be found in their early stages and dealt with appropriately.
Smoking is bad for the health and increases the chances of cancer. There is a link between smoking and eye defects such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Tobacco has also been found to be irritating to the eye. It is therefore prudent for one to stop smoking if one wants to improve quality of eyesight.
We spend much time on our phones and laptops which can cause eye strain. This also applies to focusing on one thing for a long time. It would help if we can take breaks. We can use the 20-20-20 rule, where after every 20 minutes you look away from the screen to anything that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This simple exercise can help lessen eye strain.
No one ever goes wrong with good hygiene, as it helps reduce infection. This also applies to the eye. Washing of one’s hand before touching the eye, or contact lenses is advised. Regular cleaning of contact lenses and a general adherence to doctors and manufacturers instructions when disinfecting and cleaning contacts is also advised. Make-ups that has been open for more than three months should be discarded as it can increase the risk of eye infections.
Knowing Your Family History
Some eye diseases run in families. One’s knowledge of these diseases can help one prevent them, or at least try to. It’s important to inform our health professionals about our family history, so they can help us take precautions.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”Matthew 6 vs 22.
The eye certainly deteriorates over time. It is important that we care about our eyes, as it is responsible for how we interact with the world. Taking note of these few things can help us improve our eyesight immensely and protect against future eye defects.
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An experienced biomedical researcher cum laboratory scientist. A teacher of the sciences. Self acclaimed health and lifestyle police, changing the world one article at a time.