Being healthy naturally has become a marketing tagline that has lost much of its original meaning – eat right, exercise, and play safe - no magic pill or gimmicks. Natural eye health is the proactive way of taking care of your eyes that teaches you the best way to take care of your eyes, which starts with your rebuilding and maintaining all the membranes in your eyes. If you want your eyes to stay strong in the future, then you need to do the work now.
Our eyes bring so much to our lives. The Victoria Optometric Association is dedicated to the overall eye health of Greater Victoria residents. Our members want to ensure all local residents have access to the latest in technology, eye health exams, and the best eyewear available. We understand the importance of eye health in everyday life. To help you understand that importance, here are some tips for maintaining your eye health naturally. Protecting your eyes starts with the food on your plate - your diet is an essential aid to the repair and renewal process. Avoid non-vegetarian, spicy, and preservative-laden foods. Fruits contain essential vitamins and nutrients that are vital to your eyes like oranges, cucumbers, and guava that contain vitamins-A, C, and E. Lentils, peanuts and sunflower seeds are also very good for eye health. Equally important is protecting your eyes from damage – with sunglasses, safety glasses, and frequent breaks. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays has been directly linked with cataract formation and possibly macular degeneration. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses help protect your eyes from the side. Polarized lenses reduce glare when driving. Safety eyewear is essential if you work with hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home. Certain sports require safety glasses, protective goggles or helmets with protective face masks such as ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse to shield your eyes from injury. Staring at a TV, computer, or laptop screen for too long can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, trouble focusing at a distance, dry eyes, headaches, and neck, back, and shoulder pain. Glaring from the screen, because the screen is too bright or too dark, causes muscle fatigue in the eyes. Every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. At least every 2 hours, get up and take a 15-minute break. Finally, if you smoke, quit – smoking cigarettes makes you more likely to get cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. Other considerations include staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, regular exercise, adequate rest and quality sleep, and not reading in dim light which causes eye strain and may damage your eyes. Wearing contact lenses for too long can cause discomfort and may permanently damage your sight. If you take these recommendations to heart, and combine them with regular eye exams that include your personal and family medical history, vision tests, eye pressure and optic nerve tests, external and microscopic examination of your eyes before and after dilation, as well as other tests as required –you’re on your way to optimal eye health. If you need to find an optometrist in the Greater Victoria Area, or for association-related questions, call the Victoria Optometric Association at 250-361-1427 today, and visit our affiliated professional organizations’ websites of the College of Optometrists of British Columbia, Doctors of Optometry, and the British Columbia Association of Optometrists.