There’s no escaping aging: that’s a fact. Every part of us starts to age as soon as we are born, and our eyes are no exception. In fact, our eyes sometimes get hit the hardest. This is because seldom do we think to take care of them when we’re young and carefree. This is increasingly true as we see more and more young eyes aging well before their time.
But what is it that causes this aging? The truth is that a lot of our daily activities and habits can be contributing to rapid vision aging. No one wants to age quicker than they have to and, that’s especially true for eyes. After all, your quality of life will rapidly deteriorate as soon as you start to lose your vision. Here are five tips and tricks on how to keep your eyes feeling young and fresh.
1. Put Down the Book Every Now and Then
Okay, this is a piece of advice you probably don’t hear often — or ever. And we’re not telling you to stop reading completely. However, you should be more aware of how and when you’re doing it. Reading is essential to our everyday lives and this advice is by no means is meant to discourage reading. But, having your eyes glued to a book for hours at a time can cause some damage. When you read for too long or too late into the night, your eyes strain to focus on the words. This can lead to nearsightedness.
This is especially true for students who can be holed up for hours studying. Again, don’t stop reading altogether, just try to take a break every 10 minutes or so to let your eyes readjust and relax. Take the time to focus on something about 10 feet away for 10 seconds. Following our 10-10-10 rule can really help prevent eye strain. This will also save you from some serious study headaches.
Excessive continuous reading can lead to a higher risk of developing myopia later in life. Myopia is a condition that can lead to blindness. Don’t compromise your eyes, protecting them is as easy as looking away for 10 seconds.
2. Cut Down on Screen Time Too to Preserve Young Eyes
We’re all guilty of spending a little too much time looking at our screens, be it our smartphones, tablets or computers. It doesn’t help that so much of our work is screen-based these days. Like reading, too much time staring at a screen can set off early presbyopia.
Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition that affects the eye’s ability to focus on objects close to the eye. This condition normally affects those over the age of 40, but recently there has been a spike in younger eyes being afflicted by presbyopia. That’s probably linked to the rise in screen time and technology over the past few years.
So, how can you prevent screens from damaging your eyes? Take a break! No one needs to be on their smartphone every minute of the day. If you have trouble pulling yourself away from your screen, try setting boundaries like setting specific “no-screen” times. For example, during dinner or an hour before going to bed, turn off all screens, and relax.
3. Eat the Right Foods
Eating well is such a big part of vision health. In fact, not eating right can be a huge factor that plays into how quickly your eyes age. Like any other part of our bodies, our eyes need specific nutrients to stay healthy and sharp.
Free radicals are especially harmful to the eyes. Free radicals are a group of atoms that cause damage when they come into contact with your cells. They can be especially damaging to your eye cells and can even cause vision loss. For example, free radicals may cause DNA cells to function poorly or, in some cases, die. However, you can prevent damage from free radicals by upping your antioxidant intake.
“Antioxidant” is a word most of us have probably heard before, especially when speaking about berries. Berries are excellent sources of antioxidants and they taste delicious. Don’t skip out on them!
Other foods like carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and melon are excellent sources of essential eye nutrients. Have a look at our blog for more information on superfoods for your eyes.
4. Don’t Strain Your Eyes
Straining your eyes can happen in a number of ways. We’ve already covered in tips one and two that you should let your eyes relax when reading or computing for long periods of time. But a lot of us strain our eyes throughout a normal day without even knowing it. We’ve all heard that old wives tale that stress speeds up aging (especially when it comes to our skin and hair), but it may also be true in the case of our eyes.
Squinting, for example, causes great stress on our eyes. You may not feel the effects immediately, but as you squint more and more to see things in dim light or read small writing, you are tiring out your eyes and could be ruining your vision in the long run. Take steps to prevent this by reading with a reading light or reading small print with a magnifying glass.
The less stress you put on your eyes, the younger they’ll stay.
Don’t let your eyes fall victim to aging before their time. Aging will happen no matter what; it doesn’t need our help! These easy tips will help you be on your way to living with healthy vision for a long time to come.
We change our habits to be physically fit, have clearer skin, or brighter teeth. Now it is time to start taking our eye health seriously, too. Strong eyes can go a long way. So while all your friends grow old and need glasses, you’ll be reading with eyes like a 20-year-old. Vision loss is responsible for rapidly deteriorating your quality of life as you age, so take steps to keep your eyes young today.