5 Habits That Can Boost and Preserve Your Eye Health

Taking care of your eyes is essential for maintaining optimal vision and overall well-being. Yet, over 13 million people in Australia have one or more chronic eye condition/s, according to the Department of Health and Aged Care. Around 90% of blindness and vision impairment cases in Australia are preventable or treatable if detected early, and government initiatives have since included collaborations with WHO to achieve effective coverage of refractive errors and cataract surgery by 2030.

While government initiatives are important, individual efforts are non-negotiable to boost and preserve your eye health. In this article, we will explore five habits that you can implement in your daily life for healthier eyes.

Practise regular eye examinations

Regular eye examinations are vital for maintaining good eye health and detecting any potential issues early on. Yet, Optometry Australia has found that 35% of people do not get regular eye checks. Eye examinations not only assess vision but also help identify underlying eye conditions such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Hence, adults are recommended to take a comprehensive eye examination every two years or more frequently as advised by an optometrist.

Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) outlines that exposure to UV levels is consistently higher in Australia due to the country’s proximity to the equator. To protect your eyes, the ARPANSA recommends selecting local sunglasses that comply with the Australian/New Zealand Standard for UV protection or AS/NZS 1067. Otherwise, sunglasses with polarised lenses are a must to reduce glare from reflective surfaces. Models such as the M Frame 2.0 from Oakley with its Prizm lens technology can comply with other Australian standards, such as the AS/NZS 1337 for occupational eye protectors for outdoor workers.

Take regular screen breaks

Excessive screen use can strain the eyes and contribute to symptoms such as dryness, eye fatigue, and blurred vision. The Australian Digital Health Agency recommends practising the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away to reduce eye strain. When you have to look at the screen, you can opt to wear eye protectors such as blue-light glasses. While there’s no high-level evidence to support wearing blue-light blocking glasses for vision protection, the blue-light filter can help influence your circadian rhythm and lead to better sleep that rests your eyes.

Maintain a healthy diet

Consuming foods rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein/zeaxanthin can help protect against age-related eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. For a quick tip, look for orange vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene and vital for eye health, such as carrots and pumpkins. Otherwise, the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends incorporating fresh fruits, vegetables, oily fish, nuts, and seeds into your diet.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration can lead to dry eyes, causing discomfort, headaches, and blurred vision. In Australia's often hot and dry climate, it's important to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Otherwise, you can also use a humidifier in your home during the winter to keep the air moist, and stay away from cigarette smoke, which tends to dry out your eyes.

By adopting these five habits, you can significantly boost and preserve your eye health. For more healthy tips, check out our other blogs on Supercharged Food and improve the quality of your life today.

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