Are long working hours and screen time straining your eyes too much? Do you feel your eyes are getting dry? 

You usually tend to give more importance to your hair, skin, or any other health conditions when compared to your eye health. You think about eye care only if there is an infection, irritation, or when there is any problem with your vision.

While not all eye diseases can be prevented, there are some simple steps that you can take to help your eyes remain healthy and reduce your chances of developing visual impairment in the future.

Let us see how you can take care of your eyes:

1. Wear Sunglasses

UV (ultraviolet) blocking sunglasses delay the development of cataracts since direct sunlight hastens their formation. Sunglasses prevent retinal damage and they also protect the delicate eyelid skin from getting, both wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye. 

Wearing sunglasses can protect you from cancerous and non-cancerous growths in the eye. While buying sunglasses, check for 100% UV protection, blocking both UV-A and UV-B rays.

2. Eat The Right Food

Vitamin deficiency can impair retinal function. The belief that eating carrots improves vision has some truth to it, but a variety of vegetables, especially leafy green ones, should be an important part of your diet as well. 

Researchers have found people on diets with higher levels of vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein (a carotenoid found in the eye responsible for light filter), zeaxanthin (carotenoid with antioxidant properties), and omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to develop early and advanced AMD (age-related macular degeneration- which is the wearing off the small central portion of the retina called the macula).

3. Quit Smoking

Tobacco smoking is directly linked to many adverse health effects, including age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). 

Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. Smokers are also at increased risk for developing cataracts.

4. Baseline Your Eye Examination

Adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should get a baseline eye examination done at the age of 40, when early signs of disease and changes in vision may begin. 

Based on the results of the initial screening, an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) will prescribe the necessary intervals for your follow-up exams.

Anyone with symptoms or a family history of eye disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure should see an ophthalmologist to determine how frequently your eyes should be examined.

5. Use Eye Protection

It is important to wear proper eye protection to prevent eye injuries during sports such as hockey and cricket and even during home projects like repairs, gardening, and cleaning. 

Sports eye protection should meet the specific requirements of that sport, which are usually established and certified by the sport's governing body. For most repair projects and activities around the home, standard approved protective eyewear will be sufficient.

6. Know Your Family History

Many eye diseases cluster in families, so you need to be aware of your family's history of eye disease. 

Having a family history of eye disease can increase your risk of retinitis pigmentosa (breakdown and loss of cells in the retina), high myopia (nearsightedness), age-related eye diseases, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy (damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye due to diabetes), glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve) and ARMD.

7. Avoid Straining Your Eyes

If your work involves a long screen time, you can follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look up from your screen every 20 minutes at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

If eye fatigue persists, it can be a sign of several different conditions, such as dry eye, presbyopia (loss of your eyes' ability to focus on nearby objects), or spectacles with lenses that are not properly centered. 

See an ophthalmologist to determine why you are having eye fatigue and to receive proper treatment. 

8. Give Importance to Early Intervention

Most serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma and AMD, are more easily and successfully treated if diagnosed early. Left untreated, these diseases can cause serious vision loss and blindness. Early intervention now will prevent vision loss later.

9. Know Your Doctor

When you go to get your eyes checked, there are a variety of eye care providers you might come across. Ophthalmologists, optometrists, and opticians all play an important role in providing eye care services to consumers. 

Ophthalmologists are highly trained professionals who can help you, from prescribing glasses and contact lenses to performing complex and delicate eye surgery. 

An optometrist is a specialized health care professional who examines the eyes and related structures for defects or abnormalities. An optician is a qualified person who dispenses glasses and contact lenses.

However, each one of these specialists has a different level of training and expertise. Make sure you are seeing the right provider for your condition or treatment. 

Give equal importance to your eyes as you give to the rest of the body. Follow these suggested ways to take care of your eyes and visit your ophthalmologist regularly for healthy eyes and vision.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.