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Eye Care 101

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Simple Tips For Healthy Eyes

Good vision is a wonderful thing. Until we have a problem with our vision, we don't tend to think about eye care. Most of us are very fortunate to be born with two working eyes and a strong sense of sight. We use our sense of sight, our vision, to navigate around our environment, to find food, to see dangers around us, and to communicate.

The eyes of the Mona Lisa appear to be gazing at you no matter where you stand. Her eyes focus on us, and we focus on her eyes. At one moment, shes seems to be smiling, at others, she seems serious. Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece is enigmatic... we don't know what to think.

But some things are very clear: our eyes are our window on the world, and they are the world's window on our health. It is important to look after the health of our eyes, so here I offer you some simple tips and useful information.

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Be as Healthy as you can

Has anyone in your family had an eye health issue? Has anyone been diagnosed with an hereditary eye condition? Be aware, talk to your family members and find out! If so, you might be at a higher risk of problems, so ask your eye-care professional about the checks or tests you should have.

Don't smoke. Either don't start, or quit! Smoking is linked to an increased risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and damage to the optic nerve - any of these conditions can lead to blindness. See the images below which simulate some of these conditions.

This photo is in the public domain because it is the work of a United States Department of Agriculture employee.

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Food and Drink

It is crucial to eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, and to maintain a healthy weight. Colourful veggies, like carrots, spinach and kale are full of nutrients beneficial to the eyes. The omega-3 fatty acids, found in tuna, salmon and halibut, have benefits too. Try to avoid putting on too much weight, as this can increase your risk of diabetes and other conditions which can affect your vision. See below to discover the effects of diabetic eye diseases - cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma - on your vision.

It's also important to drink water, lots of water, to keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration can reduce the tear flow in your eyes, potentially damaging them. It can also dry the delicate tissues around the eyes.

Vegetable display at Jersey West Show, public domain

Value Your Vision!

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Take Care of Your Eyes

You should blink frequently to keep up the protective tear flow over your eyes. This is particularly important for computer users who spend a lot of time focusing on the screen, and sometimes forget to blink. Rest your eyes using the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes or so, look away at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you would like more information on computer vision syndrome, check out my lens on Simple ways to avoid computer vision syndrome.

Wear your glasses or contact lenses to avoid eyestrain. In the sun, wear your shades, to protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. When buying sunglasses, look for the ones that block out both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Wash your hands before touching your eyes or the area around them. To avoid infection, clean and replace contact lenses as directed by your eye-care professional, and always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses.

Wear eye protection appropriate to the sports or activities you are doing - safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards. Most protective eyewear is made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics - make sure you buy the best you can afford.

In the workplace, employers are required to provide a safe working environment. If eye protection is required for a task, make sure you wear it, and encourage your workmates to do the same.

This photo has been released into the public domain by Jpogi at the wikipedia project.

Computer Reading Glasses

The best computer glasses are designed by eye care professionals to provide the corrective lens power for a clear view and to eliminate postural problems like head bobbing and neck strain.

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Take Prompt Action

Each day, ask yourself if you can see well, and if your eyes look and feel OK. If you notice any changes, visit your eye-care professional. Prompt diagnosis and treatment may save you from long-term problems.

Many people don't realize that they are developing eye problems, or that they could see better with glasses or contact lenses, so regular check-ups are essential. Your eye-care professional may detect the signs of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, and will be able to advise ypu on the treatment options available.

The Snellen eye chart is public domain.

Top Quality Rayban Sunglasses

It's also important to protect your eyes from strong sunlight and UV radiation. We all know that Raybans have an excellent reputation. Click the picture for more information or to see more choices of these great sunglasses

Normal Vision

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With normal vision, you should be able to see these two cheeky chappies easily.

Myopia

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For someone with myopia, short-sight, distant objects are not clearly focussed. The ball, in the foreground, is in clearer focus than the boys faces. This common condition can normally be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Cataract

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For a person with cataracts, the scene is not in focus. Distance isn't the issue here. The lens of the eye is clouded, obscuring the path of light to the retina, at the back of the eye. This condition can be cured by surgery.

Glaucoma

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In glaucoma, the fluid pressure inside the eyes rises, this can damage the optic nerve. If untreated, glaucoma can lead to vision loss and blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment, can help protect your eyes against serious loss of vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

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Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the group of eye disorders that are referred to as Diabetic Eye Disease. The others are cataract and glaucoma. In diabetic retinopathy, vision loss is caused by the blood vessels of the retina swelling and leaking fluid, or sometimes abnormal new blood vessels can grow on the surface of the retina.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss in people aged over 50. It gradually destroys the macula, the crucial part of the eye needed for seeing objects clearly. The loss of central vision in AMD can make it difficult to drive, read or recognise faces. It can progress slowly in some people, but in others it can lead to rapid vision loss.

Retinitis Pigmentosa

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Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) affects around 1.5 million people worldwide. It is an inherited retinal condition causing the progressive deterioration of the light-absorbing cells in the retina, causing loss of peripheral vision. Effectively, it destroys the camera lens.

As RP develops, and the cells degenerate, the individual can develop night blindness and loss of peripheral vision. Most will develop tunnel vision by the age of forty, although some may retain good central vision. They will continue to lose their remaining sight, and may become blind between the ages of 50 and 80.

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With thanks to the National Eye Institute !

The National Eye Institute (NEI) is part of the USA government's National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Apart from research and training, it also works to educate and share information about eye health, the preservation of sight, the various visual disorders and eye diseases, and the particular health issues of the blind.

The images, above, of the two boys were produced by NEI to simulate the effects of different eye conditions, the photos are all public domain.

Have your say

Some people have laser treatment to reshape the cornea at the front of the eye, allowing the eyes to focus correctly. The idea is to reduce the need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Would you have laser treatment to avoid wearing glasses?

You bet!

Reginald Reid 6 months ago

Although I heard from a friend who had the procedure; that it's not a permanent fix.


joluismendes 6 months ago

Thanks for sharing with us this important stuff!! Congratulations


LauraHofman 6 months ago from Naperville, IL

Yes I actually took the plunge 9 years ago and I'm so glad I did! I don't miss contacts or glasses and I can see when I get up in the morning...instead of fumbling for my glasses like I used to. I recommend it!


tysam lm 6 months ago

I tried wearing glasses for a while but was annoyed that glasses (or contacts) dont correct the problem, they only allow you to see until the eyesight gets worse so you have to adjust it again. I think I would do something to actually "fix" the problem in the first place.


spgamble12 6 months ago

I would if I could, but my corneas are not eligible for laser surgery. Sad.


Zeross4 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

I plan to in the future


anonymous 6 months ago

I'm planning on it.


Smili 6 months ago from Franklin

Awesome lens, great pictures, it gives us a clearer picture of the problem areas to look at.


SusannaDuffy 6 months ago from Melbourne Australia Level 4 Commenter

Yes I would!


robinmethew lm 6 months ago

I have read your lens. This is very useful and informative lens about Simple Tips For Healthy Eyes. I appreciate you to written by very informative and amazing lens.


TanoCalvenoa 7 months ago

Yes, if I could afford it.


malena10 2 years ago

I have worked in optics, so I know this can be very positive thing!


OhMe 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC Level 6 Commenter

I would if I could but have been told that I am not a good candidate for it

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    No way!

    philipcaddick 6 months ago

    I still am not really sure, while I do not like glasses, I prefer them to an operation.


    Sara2901 6 months ago

    Not sure as yet. Would love not having to wear my bifocals everytime I work on my computer though.


    Adventuretravels 6 months ago from London UK Level 7 Commenter

    No I don't think I would. Gulp!


    MJ Martin 6 months ago from Washington State Level 4 Commenter

    Going to try contacts again instead of glasses. My eyes don't qualify for this surgery either.


    ohcaroline 6 months ago

    I would only have it if it was absolutely necessary.


    kiankolton 6 months ago

    I am not .. but my mom is planning for this and she asked me some days ago about it. Now i can tell her better. Thanks for this informative stuff


    cinderpop87 6 months ago

    God made you the way he wants you! My son is 6 months old and has glaucoma! He is living proof that you can live a normal happy life just the way god created you! I wake up to his smiling face every day and it makes me realize god gave him this disability for a reason and someday he will make a big difference in this world with his award winning attitude! Glasses or Not!!


    happynutritionist 6 months ago

    No:-)


    Donna Cook 6 months ago from Denver, Colorado USA Level 5 Commenter

    Kept putting off and needed cataract surgery. Had a prescription replacement lens inserted and don't need laser now!


    blestman lm 6 months ago Level 3 Commenter

    I don't like the idea of my eyes being cut into, even if it is by light. The only exception would be if i had cataracts


    CampingmanNW 6 months ago Level 4 Commenter

    I don't know, I don't need glasses yet.


    Diana Wenzel 6 months ago from Colorado Level 6 Commenter

    I have had laser surgery. If I were to do it all over again, I would not have had the procedure.


    Dressage Husband 6 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada Level 5 Commenter

    Since there is a risk of it going wrong, however small I would not do it when glasses and lenses still provide acceptable results. The glasses and lenses will not take away your sight badly done surgery just might.


    TerriCarr 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

    I would ask a lot about the pros and cons. Sounds like it is still a risky treatment.


    GrammieOlivia 6 months ago from Toronto Level 7 Commenter

    As much as my glasses are a pain in the astibile, I would not have laser surgery, I've heard too many negatives, especially with night time vision......I'll stick with the glasses, thank you!


    Nancy Hardin 6 months ago from Las Vegas, NV Level 7 Commenter

    I had cataract surgery last July and August. It has helped my distance vision considerably, but because of my astigmatismn, I must still wear glasses for reading and computer work. Still, it's nice to know that there are no more cataracts on my eyes. It was not done with laser, but a new surgical technique.


    sharonbellis 23 months ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada Level 1 Commenter

    No, I am nervous of this. I have a friend who took a very long time to recover from laser treatment.


    savateuse 23 months ago Hub Author

    @writerkath: I see your reasoning there!


    writerkath 23 months ago Level 3 Commenter

    Not at this time - my sister in law is my optometrist, and she suggested it might help me. I asked her if SHE would get it done and when she hesitated, that was enough for me! :)


    hotbrain 2 years ago

    I think the failure rate is too high.... I'll stick with glasses.

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      I had surgery for a torn retina a few years ago. One evening, I began to see flashing lights that didn't seem to exist! The following morning, I realized that the flashs were occuring when I moved my head, so I took a trip to our local hosptial. Fortunately, the surgery was reasonably successful. Can you share any experiences that could help others?

       Last updated on September 13, 2014

      Useful Funny Awesome Beautiful Interesting 

      Share your experiences 54 comments

      robmonty88 5 weeks ago

      Love the lens, people need to start thinking about their eyes and what they can do to take care of them better. Thanks for the helpful information.


      TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 months ago Level 4 Commenter

      Love your lens! I can relate to this since I am shortsighted. Sundae ;-)


      tysam lm profile image

      tysam lm 6 months ago

      Congrats on your LOTD! I especially like that you added photos that show how you actually "see" with the different problems..


      Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 6 months ago Level 2 Commenter

      Congratulations on LOTD! I couldn't post in the debate above so I'll share here - am too shortsighted for laser surgery, they could improve my eyesight of course but would still need to wear glasses, and as I prefer wearing contacts, it's a no go for me because contacts don't sit well over laser treated eyes. I am shortsighted with astigmatism in one eye, and am a bit of a famed anomaly with my optician - I first saw him when I was 4 as I had started squinting, my eyesight rapidly deteriorated and they couldn't work out why, I even baffled the specialists, then my vision just stopped at a certain point and has stayed the same ever since (around -11!). Still see the same optician 30 years later, and he still always ponders what caused it every year! ;)


      MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin 6 months ago from Washington State Level 4 Commenter

      My eyesight will never be 20/20, I found the information here very helpful! A great reminder to give our eyes a break and treat them right. Congrats on LOTD, great eye stuff on here! I found the computer glasses you listed as something I am going to try before contacts. Worth the shot for the price!


      ohcaroline 6 months ago

      I've always been blessed with good vision. I try to take good care of my eyes. Vision isn't something I care to jeopardize.


      Zeross4 profile image

      Zeross4 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

      I have terrible vision, so I especially found your article interesting and useful. I plan on having laser eye surgery done in the future, although right now I wear contacts or glasses.


      aswahayah 6 months ago

      Good vision is especially important to us that we should correct eye, should protection eye.


      anonymous 6 months ago

      I'm currently wearing glasses but I am planning on getting Lasik Plus ASAP. Excellent lens with a lot of great information. Congratulations on a well deserved LotD!


      LiteraryMind profile image

      LiteraryMind 6 months ago Level 2 Commenter

      I love the pictorial representation of the different eye issues. I am familiar with all of them and what they are, but somehow seeing them all visually displayed made it clearer (or put it into focus -- pun intended).


      Donna Cook profile image

      Donna Cook 6 months ago from Denver, Colorado USA Level 5 Commenter

      Cataract surgery with a replacement corrective lens. I haven't seen this clearly since 3rd grade. Absolutely effing amazing!


      Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 6 months ago from Europe Level 3 Commenter

      @ckatheman: The eye puff test isn't really a good clinical one, it's more of a quick and dirty indicator to suggest a proper pressure test.


      Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 6 months ago from Europe Level 3 Commenter

      I'm booked in with an eye surgeon tomorrow to talk through my glaucoma surgery options. I'd really rather not have surgery, but I dint want to lose my sight either so it's about balancing those fears.


      lovedislife profile image

      lovedislife 6 months ago

      Hi Julie,

      Hearty congratulations on LOTD. Great lens. It is important to take care of my eyes not only because they let me see the world around me but also due to the fact that I could donate them to provide vision to a blind person after my time on this earth is over.

      Recently I completed a few formalities in connection with eye donation, along with my family members including my parents and my daughter. I was associated with several blind students during my younger days, reading for them, and I realize the difficulties of living a life devoid of vision. I can't imagine such a life but every one of us with good vision should give eye donation a serious thought. Thanks for sharing this beautiful lens :)

      Rema


      Ibidii profile image

      Ibidii 6 months ago from Northern California Level 6 Commenter

      Congratulations on LOTD!! I have all kinds of eye issues you can read about on my lenses. It is very important to see an eye care specialist if you have any symptoms. I was lucky to have surgery to help my detachments when I did. I cannot have the cataract removed however as my eye is too delicate. But I make the best of what I have left while I can. In preparation I attended Blind school. I have a care giver to help me, my daughter who I live with. Great information here.


      blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 6 months ago Level 3 Commenter

      Great information. I personally don't want to have my eyes operated on but I understand where other people need it. I am sure there are a lot of anecdotal stories about the effect of such surgery. It is the weird and bad experiences that get all the press


      esmonaco profile image

      esmonaco 6 months ago from Lakewood New York Level 7 Commenter

      To date all I have are over the counter reading glasses, and hoping it stays that way. A great lens and very informative, Congratulations on LOTD!! Well deserved :)


      Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 months ago from Concord VA Level 5 Commenter

      My husband recently had cataract surgery and has been amazed at how much better he can see. And, everything is so much brighter! Congratulations on LotD!


      Fiorenza profile image

      Fiorenza 6 months ago from UK Level 1 Commenter

      I saw a documentary tabout eye problems that showed when spinach was eaten daily by a trial of patients with macular degeneration, they had positive results compared to the control group. This is because spinach -contains lutein.


      ckatheman profile image

      ckatheman 6 months ago

      They are finding more and more that higher intra-ocular pressures (ocular hypertension) don't mean glaucoma - and in a lot of cases pressure isn't involved at all. My family has a history of ocular hypertension but no glaucoma, so the two are not one in the same.

      Also, anyone who has a high reading on the air puff test should also have their corneal thickness measured as it will throw the readings much higher.


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