How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy and Strong —6 Good Eye Health Tips

Good eye health habits are very important for keeping healthy eyes.

If you want to start maintaining good eye health, there are certain habits that you need to adopt.

It’s not that difficult to adopt these habits, and in the end, they’ll help you keep your eyes healthy as you age. Here are simple steps that you can take to ensure that your vision is at its best.

1. Practice Good Eye Health Nutrition

Some of the best foods for eye health

Some of the best foods for eye health

Your vision’s health is highly determined by what you eat. Your diet has a powerful influence on your eye health.

Certain nutrients: lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc,  vitamin C, and Vitamin E, protect you from age-related eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration, helping to preserve healthy eyes into old age. These are the best eye health vitamins and the best foods for eye health will be rich in these; to get enough of  these nutrients and vitamins, ensure that you eat the following foods at least once every day.

  • Tuna, salmon, and any other oily fish

  • Oranges, citrus fruits and any other juicy fruits

  • Green leafy vegetables like kales, spinach and collards

  • Eggs, beans, nuts and other non-meat protein sources

2. Wear Sunglasses to Block UV Rays

woman wearing sunglasses for eye health

Too much UV exposure causes cataracts and macular degeneration, and overexposure to UV light is never good for eye health.

To minimize the amount of UV light entering your eyes during the day, be sure to pick the right pair of glasses. If you’re buying shades, be sure that you buy shades that block 99% to 100% of UVB and UVA rays.

If you are always on the road, polarized lenses are your best choice for reducing glare; grey lenses are a good choice —they preserve your color perception which helps you process visual stimuli more quickly. We recommend you get wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from the side.

Even if you wear contact lenses that offer UV protection, it’s vital to wear sunglasses for extra protection.

3. Use Computer Glasses

If you stare into a computer screen for too long, you’ll experience several negative health effects: blurry vision, eyestrain, dry eyes, headaches, and trouble focusing at a distance.

To protect your eyes from overexposure to computer light, here are some tips on how to maintain good eye health in the post-modern era.

  • Get glasses for computer use and get an anti-glare screen

  • Blink more often if your eyes dry off

  • Ensure that the lighting in your work area is as bright as your computer screen

  • Rest your eyes after every 20 minutes by looking away for 20 seconds

4. Use Safety Wear

If you work in an environment that can potentially hurt your vision, use safety goggles to protect yourself from hazardous and airborne debris. Preventing physical injury is even more important than proper eye health nutrition.

Don’t let an unfortunate accident destroy a lifetime of good eye health; no one wants to lose an eye.

5. Quit Smoking

Did you know that smoking can damage your optic nerve and cause macular degeneration?

If you’ve been trying to quit smoking, ensure that you completely quit smoking.

Studies show that the smoke smokers exhale can potentially induce cataracts. Apart from eye related problems, smoking also causes many other medical problems.

6. Visit your Eye Doctor Regularly

We all know prevention is better than cure. Visiting your eye doctor on a regular basis will ensure that your vision is always at its best.

Additionally, visiting your optometrist regularly will allow for early detection and prevention of many eye diseases that can threaten your sight.

When did you last visit an optometrist? We are always happy to help new patients. Whether it’s your first time with us or you’re coming in for your annual check-up, schedule an appointment with us hassle-free online.

 

 

Now that you know what to do to keep your vision on check, share this short guide with your friends and family to keep more eyes healthy.

Do you have any question regarding your vision? Contact Midtown Optometry; our eye doctors Dr. Craig Fellers and Dr. Ayesha Burns are always here for any questions.

Does Exercise Improve Eye Health?

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Living in Santa Cruz, many of us are excited about fitness. From world class mountain biking, to breathtaking hiking and big wave surfing, we live in a Mecca for the outdoors. What many of you might not know, however is that exercise is also important for your eye health.

The fact is that exercise is good for you, this much is common knowledge --whether for getting into shape, keeping generally fit, and even improving your mental well-being. What you might not know, though, is that exercising just a few times a week can help preserve your vision and decrease your risk of developing eye diseases.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol can potentiate vision problems and eye disease.

Two of the most essential steps to preserving your vision are maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly; the right kind of physical exertion can be highly beneficial for your eye health.

Studies Indicate a Looming Health Crisis

Multiple studies done over the past decade have revealed a relationship between the lack of exercise and an increased risk of several common eye diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

When left unaddressed, diabetes can damage the retina’s blood vessels and lead to blindness.

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The prevailing research predicts that, as today’s population gets older, the proportion of individuals suffering from some form of visual impairment or blindness will double by 2050 — and these numbers are already rising globally.

Regular screening for eye diseases can help combat this problem.

A study which monitored some 4,000 older adults over a 15 year period found that those who kept an active lifestyle and exercised at least thrice weekly had a decreased risk of developing exudative (wet) AMD or macular degeneration.

Wet AMD develops when unwanted blood vessels grow beneath the center of the retina. Blood vessels here can leak blood and fluid into the eye, leading to loss of vision.

Glaucoma affects the optic nerves in the eyes and causes them to not function properly.

The optic nerve transmits visual images from your eyes to your brain and when the this is damaged it can cause a host of vision problems ranging from peripheral vision loss to blindness.

The optic nerve can become damaged in a number of ways such as lack of blood flow, deteriorating effects of diabetes, arteriosclerosis, and glaucoma.

Engaging in cardio exercises increases the blood flow to your retina and optic nerve.

Further, research focused on young adults found that moderate intensity, low-impact exercise leads to a significant reduction in eye pressure; excessively high eye pressure can lead to glaucoma.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends regular, ongoing exercise, such as walking or jogging, to help reduce eye pressure.

In particular, cardiovascular exercises, like aerobics, have been linked to lowered intraocular pressure —the pressure inside your eyes— which is important to the protection of your retinal ganglion cells.

Go Outside, Enjoy Your Exercise

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Getting the vision and eye health benefits of cardio workouts is a simple as taking a 20-minute brisk walk four times a week. Brisk walking for just this much every week can increase your blood flow by up to 25%.

If you prefer other exercises to walking, consider other workouts to improve your circulation, like cycling, swimming, dancing, or Pilates; beyond these you have so many other options, including any sports that you may already participate in.

Whichever activity you choose, you’ll not only benefit from improved eyesight and eye health, but a stronger, healthier heart, too.

The cumulative result of these effects is an improvement in general eye health and vision acuity; the beneficial effects are even more pronounced in people suffering from glaucoma.

While exercising, you should make certain that you protect your eyes with proper eye wear to prevent damaging your eyes while you work to improve them; to understand what kinds of eye wear you should wear for different activities, you should schedule a consultation with a sports vision specialist.

What Else Can You Do For Your Eyes?

Be sure that you’re visiting your eye doctor regularly; work with them to schedule checkups at least every year, or every other year at the most, and make sure you have the right prescription for your eye wear.

With all this talk of exercise, it’s important not to neglect the benefits of simply eating healthy. A balanced, nutritious diet is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, but it’s also one of the best things you can do for your eye health.

Be sure to pack your diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and fish, to give your eyes every advantage.

Healthy Diet.jpg

In addition, cutting down on saturated fats and sugars, protecting your eyes from the sun when you’re outside, even on cloudy days, and quitting smoking, all contribute to protecting your eyes and vision health.

Make exercise, even only light exercise, your priority. This is particularly important, given recent research that shows regular exercise is associated with decreased risks for certain eye diseases.

Study after study has found powerful benefits of exercise from improved mental health to reduced risks of diseases, and even cancer.

With all this, it’s obvious that staying active, getting plenty of exercise, and eating healthily come with many benefits, from general health to improved eye health and preventing eye disease.

Many of us overlook our eyes and vision when we consider what we can do to improve our health; just because we can’t see our eyes, doesn’t mean they are any less important to keep healthy as our hearts, lungs, and minds.

How to Avoid Digital Eye Strain --Treatment and Relief

While our eyes are amazing organs, they aren’t made for staring at screens all day —that’s why our eyes feel tired and sore when we spend too long focusing on our devices, or even straining to read in the dark.

If you’re like most people, you probably experience the type of ocular fatigue known as digital eye strain on a daily basis; just a couple of hours of device use can take it’s toll on your eyes.

woman with headache

In the short-term, digital eye strain leads to symptoms like headaches and blurred vision. In the long term, it’s predicted that a lifetime of abusing our eyes can lead to a severe loss of visual acuity and clarity.

Exactly how much our eyes might suffer from lifelong overexposure to digital stimuli is yet to be fully understood, as the technology causing it is still relatively new, but like any bad habit, it probably isn’t healthy for us.

Now that you have an idea of what the condition is, lets look at some of the common symptoms and effects of digital eyestrain

Digital Eye Strain Symptoms

  • Headaches

  • Pain in the back, shoulders, and neck

  • Red, dry or irritated eyes

  • Blurred vision

  • Eye fatigue

What Causes Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain is often caused by small print, and pixelated images that are difficult for our eyes to read and focus on; these types of text and images force our eyes to strain in order to focus.

Sometimes the set up of the device that you are using can also cause digital eye strain.

If the device is improperly held or set in a bad angle, its likely going to force your eyes to strain to get a good view.

How To Avoid Digital Eye Strain

person at computer

The most effective way to prevent digital eye strain is to stop the use of digital devices altogether, and even reading books in anything less than ideal lighting conditions.

Unfortunately, we can’t really avoid using digital devices —we rely on them so much in these modern times, they’re practically a part of us!

But don’t worry!

There are a couple of things that we can do to reduce the amount of stress we’re putting on our eyes.

Since we mostly use our computers in our daily routines, the first thing that we are going to cover are: computer ergonomics.

Adjust Your Monitor

When at the office or on your laptop or desktop, your computer monitor is supposed to be positioned directly in front of your face and slightly below the level of your eyes.

Maintain your Distance

Keep your phone or computer screen at a safe distance. A good rule is to sit at a arm length distance from the computer.

If you are using a handheld device, ensure that the device is at a safe distance that enables you to read comfortably.

This can be difficult with the smaller screens of a mobile device, thankfully you can also…

Increase the Size of Your Text

To comfortably read everything from your computer, increase the size of your texts to avoid straining your eyes to read. Here’s how you can do it on Windows 10, Mac, and iPhone/iPad

Reduce Brightness

Ensure that the computer screen's brightness is adjusted to that of your surrounding. Always adjust your computer screen before you start using it.

Ensure Your Screen Is Clean

Clean your monitor to wipe out the translucent particles that will force you to strain to read and do your computer tasks.

Wear Computer Glasses 

The most advanced way to protect your eyes is to get a pair of computer glasses.

These glasses are made with customized lenses that relax the eye while providing a wide field of view to prevent eye strain.

We have a selection of these glasses in our optical department.

Computer glasses have the most up to date lens designs to take the strain off of your eyes at the computer.

Proper computer glasses will also reduce the amount of blue light that makes it from your screen to your eyes. This can be done with coatings that reflect this high energy light or with lens materials that absorb it.

Either way, with less blue light getting to your eyes, they won’t have to strain as hard, and as a bonus your circadian rhythm will improve!

Use the 20-20-20 Break Rule

After every minutes of computer use, take your eyes away for 20 seconds and look at anything else that is 20 feet away from you.

computer glasses next to macbook

Do you spend a lot of time in front of your computer or phone? Consider getting a pair of computer glasses.

Stay Hydrated

Seventy percent of our body is made up of fluids. For you to keep your eyes hydrated, you need to drink water on a regular basis.

Use A Humidifier If The Air Around You Is Too Dry 

man using eye drops

Dry air evaporates the moisture right our of your eyes, and can cause real problems if you aren’t blinking enough (like when you’re staring at a computer screen) causing eye strain.

If the environment has dry air, use a humidifier to keep it moist enough for your eyes to stay hydrated.

Use Artificial Tears

When you are working on your computer, you can be easily carried away by what you are doing that you forget to blink. Artificial tears will keep your eyes hydrated. Eyes begin to strain to see when they are dry.

When your body is well hydrated, your eyes will have enough fluids, too!


If you suffer from persistent eye strain problems you should visit your eye care professional.

You can always schedule a free consultation at Midtown Optometry, any time, and we will do our best to help you all along.

5 Alarming Reasons You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

Skiing Sunglasses

It’s hard to disagree that direct exposure to the Sun’s rays can do a lot of damage to your eyes and your vision.

Well, according to health experts, wearing your sunglasses during the winter is even more important than during the summer time.

Why?

During winter our eyes are, in fact, even more exposed to UV radiation during the cloudy days. Additionally, the much of the Sun’s light gets reflected off the ground, where it is normally harmlessly absorbed, into our eyes.

Light reflected by the mirror-like snow increases the amount of damage caused by UV radiation to your vision, can induce temporary “blindness”, and severe pain.

To keep yourself, and your eyes protected through winter, you need a pair of quality sunglasses.

Here are 5 reasons to wear sunglasses during winter: Number three may shock you!

5 Reasons Why You Should Wear Sunglasses in the Winter

  1. Sunglasses Protect Eyes from Dust, Wind and Debris

    The weather can be quite challenging during winter. Sunglasses can give you a clearer view of your surroundings by creating a barrier that reduces the evaporation of moisture to keep your eyes well protected and comfortable.

    Airtight sunglasses have the added benefit of protecting your contact lenses from drying out in cold environments. With sunglasses, you wont have to worry about any debris carried by the wind to damage your cornea.

    Some lenses are fitted with hydrophobic coatings to repel water, dust, oils, lotions and fingerprints to keep your vision clear at all times.

  2. Sunglasses Reduce Glare

    Winter is well known for its precipitation that coats surfaces in snow, water, and ice, making most surfaces in the environment shiny, hence bright reflections that can easily impair your vision.

    This reflective glare, also known as snow blindness, is very dangerous and can cause fatal accidents since drivers, snowmobile riders, and skiers can’t see through bright light.

    If you enjoy outdoor activities during the winter, this glare can also make it easier for you to get lost, which can be very dangerous.

    To combat this glare, all you need is a good pair of sunglasses that can block the reflecting sun rays.

    We recommend polarized sunglasses to shield against these reflections.

  3. Sunglasses Protect your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

    Did you know that there are dangerous UV rays from the sun that can potentially harm your eyes and accelerate the development of cataracts and aged macular degeneration?

    Prolonged exposure to UV radiation can affect your eyesight and cause your eyes to age prematurely.

    Sunglasses will also prevent these rays from reaching the skin around your eye which prevents wrinkles caused by UV rays.

  4. Sunglasses Reduce Eyestrain and Headaches

    Your pupils control the amount of light that reaches the retina in your eye. In dim light the pupils widen to allow more light to enter the eye, and, conversely, your pupils will shrink when light is too bright to protect the retina.

    During winter, when light is often far too bright much of the time, your pupils will strain through out the day to reduce the light entering your eyes which in turn causes muscle fatigue and eye strain.

    Over exerted pupil muscles can leave you crippled by painful headaches throughout the winter.

    You are better off with sunglasses that have photochromic lenses. These lenses darken automatically in the presence of bright light hence protecting your eyes throughout the day.

  5. Sunglasses Improve Vision During Winter

    Your eyes are very delicate and need to be protected, especially during the harsher climate of winter.

    For good vision, your eyes require a just the right amount of light.

    Reflective glare is dangerous to the naked eye and can potentially bleach the retina which can lead to poor vision and reduced vision acuity. For these reasons, we recommend sunglasses, even and especially during winter, for long term vision and healthy eyes.

 
To prevent glare-induced eye strain, you need a quality pair of sunglasses that will reduce the light going into your eyes.

To prevent glare-induced eye strain, you need a quality pair of sunglasses that will reduce the light going into your eyes.

 
Wraparound sunglasses are particularly effective in preventing injuries from the dust, the wind and debris.

Wraparound sunglasses are particularly effective in preventing injuries from the dust, the wind and debris.

 
Good sunglasses will block UV Rays and keep your eyes healthy.

Good sunglasses will block UV Rays and keep your eyes healthy.

The comfort and the protection that comes with high quality sunglasses is priceless

The comfort and the protection that comes with high quality sunglasses is priceless

Now you know the importance of having high quality sunglasses during the winter.

Do you have sunglasses for the winter season?

We always advise our readers to steer away from cheap plastic sunglasses.

Get yourself quality lenses and you will notice the difference; feel free to browse our selection of the best quality, most stylish sunglasses on the market in 2019.