With age, vision deteriorates. There are a lot of reasons for this. These can be ophthalmic diseases, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataract. There are many other diseases, against the background of which it is also possible to worsen the functionality of the eyes, for example, diabetes or hypertension. Add to this the daily hours of work at the computer, reading and writing in the wrong light, improper nutrition. As a result, the impact of these and many other factors lead to the fact that our vision deteriorates.
According to Australian experts, in 2000, about 23% of the world’s population, which is almost one and a half billion people, suffered from myopia. This figure is increasing every year. And if the trends in the spread of ophthalmic disorders do not change, then by 2050 every second inhabitant of the planet will need glasses. The rapid growth of myopia and other eye diseases largely depends on the environmental situation. But an equally important role is played by the lifestyle of the person himself. Experts remind that following simple rules will help to maintain good eyesight until old age. What are these rules and how to take care of eye health, now we will talk.
Why vision deteriorates
There are many factors and diseases that lead to vision impairment. Most often, this is incorrect lighting of rooms and workplaces. At the same time, it is worth knowing that the eyes are adversely affected by both too weak and excessively strong lighting. Reading in the wrong light requires increased eye strain, which as a result also causes headaches.
Speaking about excessive lighting, it is impossible not to remember about ultraviolet radiation. Strong and frequent exposure to UV rays on the eyes can lead to the rapid development of cataracts or macular degeneration. Therefore, when buying sunglasses, it is very important to pay attention to the presence of a special UV filter in them. Similar eye protection is provided in some contact lenses.
Smoking also belongs to the factors contributing to the deterioration of vision. This bad habit, like hypertension or diabetes, predisposes to the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, damage to the optic nerve and other ophthalmic disorders.
The most common cause of acquired blindness and visual impairment in people over 50 years of age is age–related macular degeneration. This disease consists in the destruction of a small part of the retina (macula). This condition rarely causes complete blindness, but can cause significant visual impairment.
Currently, there are no effective ways to treat progressive macular degeneration. Laser therapy is used only in the early stages of the disease. But, as studies have shown, people who consume a lot of lutein during their lifetime are less prone to ophthalmological problems, and if they have a disease, it proceeds with less serious consequences.
General rules for eye protection
Aging, including the visual system– is an irreversible process in the human body, but some factors can accelerate it. Improper nutrition, stress, regular overwork and lack of sleep – all this accelerates the deterioration of the body, including the visual organ. But most of us can help our eyes. All you need to do is follow a few basic rules:
- Sunglasses with a filter against UV radiation must be worn by every person who cares about the health of their eyes. There is a common misconception in the world that such protection is needed for the eyes only in summer. But this is not the case. Our eyes need protection throughout the year. UV rays are always present in sunlight, but in summer they are several times more active. Nevertheless, protective glasses are necessary even in winter and especially in early spring, when the eyes need an adaptation period to get used to a brighter and more active sun.
- Every time you sit down at the computer, you need to moisten your eyes with special drops. Funds from this group are sold in pharmacies without a prescription.
- In case of working with hazardous materials, vapors or dust, it is recommended to wear safety glasses. A small speck that gets into the eye can sometimes cause not just temporary discomfort, but severe irritation or more serious damage that requires the help of a doctor.
- Compresses using slices of fresh cucumber or cotton pads soaked in slightly warm green tea can bring relief to tired eyes. Such compresses should be kept for at least 10 minutes. The substances contained in these products have a mild anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect. To prevent dry eye syndrome, experts advise doing warm compresses on the eyes, if not daily, then at least 3-4 times a week.
- To improve visual acuity, it is useful to take medications containing lutein. This component helps to maintain visual acuity and has a protective function for the retina.
- Regular preventive examinations by an ophthalmologist can detect most eye diseases in the early stages. People from the risk group (suffering from diabetes or hypertension) need to be examined annually, the rest – at least once every two years.
- People wearing contact lenses should follow the rule – it is necessary to take them out of their eyes at night before taking a shower or going to the pool. Lenses like a sponge are able to absorb various substances. And during water procedures, bacteria and parasites can get on them, which in turn can cause irritation or infection of the eyes.
Eye care for various disorders dry eye syndrome
Dry eye syndrome
Occurs due to insufficient moistening of the eye surface. You can recognize the disorder by the feeling of “sand in the eyes”, dryness and redness of the proteins. What to do? Try to blink more often to moisten the surface of the eyes, and from time to time to rest. Use moisturizing drops twice a day (the so-called artificial tear).
Develops against the background of myopathy – a disease in which the muscles of the eye weaken and the lens loses the ability to adjust to different distances. Belongs to hereditary diseases. You can recognize the disease by the inability to clearly distinguish objects at a distant distance, by frequent headaches and rapid eye fatigue. Only an ophthalmologist can make an accurate diagnosis.
What to do? It is necessary to do special exercises for the eyes every day. The simplest, but effective exercise: 7-10 times to look from a nearby object into the distance and vice versa. Try to avoid long (more than 40 minutes) continuous work at the computer. Do not sit at the monitor without special glasses that soften the blue color that is difficult for the eye to perceive.
This disease is characterized by abnormal curvature of the lens and cornea, which is why the ability to clearly see the “picture” is lost. In most cases, this is a congenital disorder. Such patients complain of severe and frequent headaches, eye fatigue, even from a light load.
What to do? Maintain optimal lighting in the room, and use an overhead light and a table lamp for work. Follow a balanced diet with an emphasis on zinc and magnesium. Do massages of the collar area.
It is manifested by a sharp deterioration of vision, as a rule, after 40 years. People with glaucoma complain of pain in their eyes, blurring of the “picture”, narrowing of the field of vision and the appearance of a “grid” in front of their eyes.
What to do? To prevent the development of the disorder, it is necessary to undergo regular examinations by an ophthalmologist, in particular, to measure intraocular pressure. It is useful to read a lot (in good light) and do needlework (this helps to keep your eyes in good shape).
Allergic inflammation of the eyes
This can happen during the flowering of plants, after contact with animals, as a reaction to taking certain medications or after prolonged use of eye drops.
What to do? Exclude contact with the allergen, take an antihistamine. If relief does not come, consult an allergist.
Medicinal herbs for the eyes
Lotions from various herbal decoctions have a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on the eyes. The most popular of this group of folk remedies are chamomile tea lotions. In many cases, this herb is really good for the eyes, as it has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. But at the same time, chamomile broth dries the skin and conjunctiva, so such a remedy is contraindicated in dry eye syndrome. In such cases, it is better to give preference to decoctions or infusions of cornflower or black tea.
Herbalists also advise to pay attention to the following plants, decoctions of which are useful for washing the eyes:
- black elderberry flowers – give the eyes a glow;
- wormwood herb – eliminates redness and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid);
- verbena – suitable for washing, relieves eyelid fatigue;
- marshmallow root – softens the skin around the eyes;
- calendula herb – has anti-inflammatory properties, relieves eye pain, is suitable for the treatment of barley;
- horsetail field – relieves swelling of the eyelids and redness of the eyes;
- fennel – treats inflammation and abscesses;
- mint – eliminates dark circles around the eyes;
- rose petals – soften the skin around the eyes, relieve inflammation, soothe.
The right diet for the eyes
Proper diet plays an important role in maintaining good eye health. The visual system, like other organs of the human body, needs certain chemicals for proper functioning.
Lutein plays a key role in maintaining the health of the visual system. This substance is often called the main vitamin for the eyes. It acts as a light filter that protects the eye tissue from damage by sunlight. Studies show that regular consumption of products containing lutein helps to reduce the risk of age-related vision problems. Deficiency, on the contrary, worsens the work of the macula – the most important part of the eye responsible for visual acuity.
Lutein is found in corn, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green peas, pepper, egg yolks, pumpkin, sweet paprika. Particular attention to these products should be paid to smokers and people who often work under artificial lighting, are often in the sun or regularly go to the solarium, drink a lot of coffee and black tea. By the way, lutein is useful not only for the eyes, it has a beneficial effect on the skin, making it elastic, and also normalizes the sebaceous glands.
Antioxidants. These substances are necessary for a person as protection against free radicals, which have a destructive effect on all cells of the body. Products containing vitamins A, C, E, as well as anthocyanins and flavonoids have antioxidant properties. Regarding vitamin A and beta-carotene, many people know them as the most useful substances for the eyes.
But no less useful for the eyes are products with vitamins C and E. Ascorbic acid, for example, helps slow down age-related changes in the eyes, and vitamin E prevents the destruction of organ cells. The aforementioned vitamins are in impressive quantities in carrots, spinach, sorrel, pepper, beets, tomatoes, black currants, citrus fruits, broccoli, sea buckthorn and rosehip fruits. But no less powerful protection human eyes can get from substances-anthocyanins, which not only fight, like all antioxidants, with free radicals, but also regenerate damaged areas of the eye.
In addition, these substances strengthen the vessels through which blood is delivered to the eyeballs. Anthocyanins are part of the group of substances-flavonoids. They are found in plant foods rich in red, blue and purple pigment. It has been proven that products rich in anthocyanins help to improve vision, and also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is why they are useful for conjunctivitis. In addition, to maintain eye health, it is useful to eat foods rich in selenium, manganese and copper, which also have antioxidant properties. You can replenish the reserves of these substances from seafood, nuts, sprouted wheat, garlic, onions, avocado, peas, beans, blueberries.
Zinc. The diet for the eyes must necessarily contain this trace element. He takes part in the synthesis of rhodopsin, a substance thanks to which a person is able to distinguish shades of gray and see at dusk. Zinc is present in large quantities in legumes, nuts, seeds (especially pumpkins), cereals, fish and meat.
Omega-3 acids. Foods rich in fatty acids are indispensable for maintaining the health of the retina. It is this part of the eye that is responsible for transmitting visual information to the brain. Best sources: sea fish, nuts, almonds, some vegetable oils.
Water. Maintaining proper hydrobalance in the body is also important for eye health. Therefore, people who care about the visual system need to drink a lot of fluids every day. It can be ordinary clean water, juices and herbal teas, which, in addition to moisture, will provide a whole set of useful trace elements. Dehydration of the body can lead to drying out of the mucous membrane of the eye, which, in turn, causes chronic dry eye syndrome or conjunctivitis.
How to help your eyes when working at a computer
Working at the computer for too long can cause eye strain, dry eye syndrome and vision impairment. Nowadays, computers surround a person everywhere and few people manage to avoid contact with them.
But there are several rules, observing which you can alleviate or prevent unpleasant symptoms that occur after hours of work in front of the monitor:
- Place the monitor at the most comfortable level and the correct distance. It’s best to keep your eyes level with the top of the screen. This position allows you to look at the image slightly from above, so that less rays affect the visual organ. According to the calculations of ophthalmologists, the most useful distance from the face to the monitor is from 40 to 75 cm. A closer location to the screen makes the eyes work more intensively.
- Try to place the computer in such a way that its screen does not glare from sunlight or lamps, as this further irritates the eyes and causes them to strain.
- Choose a comfortable chair with an ergonomic backrest and an appropriate seat height. The correct position for working at a computer is with an even back and both feet touch the floor. This position promotes proper blood circulation, including in the organs of the visual system, which is important for maintaining good vision.
- Try to blink as often as possible. During the day, a person blinks an average of 10-20 times per minute. While working at the computer, this number should be greater. But as a rule, everything happens the other way around: focusing on the monitor makes a person blink much less often – no more than 5-10 times per minute. Because of this, the surface of the eye dries up a lot. Blinking helps to moisturize the eyeball and thereby serves as a prevention of redness, conjunctivitis and a feeling of “sand” under the eyelids. If blinking does not help, special drops should be used to relieve discomfort while working at the computer.
- Do eye exercises. One of the simplest: every 20 minutes, at least for 20 seconds, shift your gaze into the distance, for example, out of the window. This light exercise allows you to relieve tension from the eyes. In addition, experts do not advise working at the computer for more than 2 hours in a row without a break.
How to keep a child’s good eyesight
“The child started going to school and his eyesight deteriorated!” – parents sometimes complain. But the fact that reading and writing impair the work of a child’s eyes is no more than a myth. If the vision of boys and girls of school age deteriorates, then it is necessary to look for the cause in another. Perhaps the vision dropped due to improper lighting in the room where the student is doing homework. Or maybe he spends too much time playing computer games and at the same time sits at the wrong distance from the monitor? But the process of reading or writing itself, with good lighting and keeping a distance from a book or notebook, can not harm.
To prevent the deterioration of vision in a child, it is useful to follow several rules:
- Limit the time spent in front of the screens of a smartphone, computer and TV. Instead of passive rest, schoolchildren need to be taught to be active.
- Spend more time outside. Studies show that natural light has a beneficial effect on the eyes. According to WHO recommendations, children should spend at least 2 hours outside every day.
- Create good lighting in the room. Compliance with this rule prevents headaches and eye fatigue. It is important that the light in the room is bright enough.
- Follow a vitamin diet. To maintain the vitamin and mineral balance in the body, it is enough to simply eat a balanced diet.
- Do exercises for the eyes. From a very young age, children should be taught to do eye exercises daily. On the Internet, you can easily find various complexes that take no more than 10 minutes to complete, but this will be quite enough to keep your eyes in good shape.
Vision is undoubtedly one of the most important senses. Every person who has ever had problems with vision knows how important eye health is. Thanks to them, we can see the world around us, enjoy its beauty and recognize dangers in time, protecting ourselves from them. Approximately 80% of the information the brain receives is due to the work of the eyes. But the eyes are a rather sensitive organ that requires special attention and care. Nevertheless, it is not so difficult to take care of them – it is enough to adhere to the recommendations discussed above.