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Many people are surprised to learn that they do have some control over their eye health- it’s not completely influenced by genetics.

There are some simple practises you can incorporate into your everyday life to prevent common eye problems and maintain, or even strengthen, your vision.

1. Screen Breaks

Most of us spend a lot of time in front of one screen or another. It may also be unavoidable in certain professions that require the use of a computer for long periods. Whether it’s looking at your mobile phone, television, or your computer at work, screen time can strain your eyes. Give your eyes a rest now and then. A good rule to follow is: give your eyes a 20-second rest for every 20 minutes of screen time.

2. Exercise Your Eyes

It’s not just your limbs that have muscles. Eyes have six muscles that control its movements in total (the lateral rectus, the medial rectus, the inferior rectus, the superior rectus, the inferior oblique, and the superior oblique). All of which need regular exercise to be healthy. Perform these simple eye exercises to promote good eyesight and alleviate strain.

  • Close your eyes and massage your temples, your cheeks and the bridge of your nose.
  • Roll your eyes several times clockwise and then counterclockwise.
  • Hold a pencil at arm’s length, and focus on it. Then, slowly move it closer to your face. Now, return it to the starting position at arm’s length. Repeat several times.

3. Nutrient-Rich Foods

Foods rich in the antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin protect your eyes from sun exposure. These nutrients are found in whole eggs, dark leafy greens, peppers, and sweet potatoes. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon and many nuts and seeds, also benefit eye health.

4. Stay Physically Active

Your eye health is linked to your overall health and wellness, so be sure to exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Doing so can promote good circulation, which is necessary for carrying beneficial nutrients to your eyes.

5. Use Protective Devices

Use protective eyewear when playing sports, doing carpentry/home improvements, or operating heavy machinery. Such precautions can minimise common eye conditions or injuries that may occur as a result of accidents.

6. Sleep

Resting your eyes and your body is vital to overall health. Shut off screens at least two hours before bed, and try to use filters that block blue light.

7. Wear Sunglasses

Put on sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays before spending any significant amount of time outdoors, as the sun’s harsh rays can damage your eyesight.

8. Supplements and/or Eye drops

If you’re not getting all the necessary nutrients to promote good eye health from your diet, you might consider taking supplements. If you are suffering from dry eyes or any other eye discomfort, using eye drops could benefit you greatly. Do not hesitate to contact your eye doctor/GP/local chemist about which supplements or eye drops may be right for you.

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