Vision-impairing conditions are on the up. Protect yourself from these eyesight saboteurs
According to many ophthalmologists, cases of myopia (near sightedness) are spiking while glaucoma, cataracts and other eye conditions are also on the rise. One major culprit is screen use. But stress, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity can also sap your sight. In fact, anything that hurts your heart will strain your eyes. So don’t fall victim to these mistakes!
Blue light from your devices may contribute to macular degeneration, an impairment of you central vision. Plus not blinking fully while staring at a screen can cause ‘computer vision syndrome’ – dryness, pain and fatigue.
Use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a break and look at something 20 feet (6 metres) away for 20 seconds. Look out a window if you can, broad vistas help your eyes relax.
The stress hormone cortisol can lead to impaired retinal function. This can result in a condition known as central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR), a build-up of liquid that causes blurry vision.
Exercise and meditation can slash stress. Better yet, go see your favourite act. An hour of live music can lower your cortisol levels by 25%.
The closer you hold something to your face, the harder your eyes work. This strain may cause your eyeballs to elongate, possibly resulting in myopia.
Keep any screen at least 40cm from your face and bump up the text size if you find yourself squinting on leaning closer.
Blunt trauma to the eye – say, from an errant ball or elbow – is the most common cause of vision loss in young men. One nightmare is a detached retina, which can also result from any violent head movement – even an intense sneeze.
If the sport allows, wear sunglasses. Good for sports like cricket and beach volleyball, not so good for others like rugby. If you take a hit and notice flashing lights, head to the ED.
Avoiding leafy greens means you miss out on nutrients such as nitrates and lutein that can help ward off glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Nitrates help promote bloodflow to the retina. A study published found that people who eat 240mg a day (a cup of spinach) are 30% less likely to develop glaucoma than people who steer clear of greens.
If you’re a smoker, obese or both, your risk of glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and other eye diseases soars by up to 300%.
Lose the extra weight and ditch the burners. A diet rich in fatty fish, fruits and vegetables (especially those high in vitamin C and zinc) helps deliver better eye health.