There are several medical conditions that can damage your eyesight, with diabetes being close to the top of the list.
The good news is that if spotted early, 98 per cent of vision loss can be avoided, according to Diabetes Australia. The key is to have regular eye checks, preferably with a specialist ophthalmologist.
While treatment, usually involving laser or surgery, will help to halt the progress of vision loss, once lost, eyesight cannot be restored.
In addition to having your eyes examined at least once a year, or more often if you suspect your vision is being strained, there are some simple habits that may help keep your eyesight young.
Habits to avoid include:
- eating salty food
- using face wipes to remove eye make-up – these products often have chemicals that can be harsh to sensitive eyes
- staring at a computer or smartphone screen for long periods
- smoking cigarettes has been linked to earlier onset of cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye conditions
- spending too much time in an air-conditioned environment, as that tends to dry your eyes.
Habits to embrace include:
- wearing sunglasses, even in winter if the light is too bright or glary
- trying to get seven to eight hours of sleep
- staying hydrated, preferably with water
- blinking more often or use a saline eye solution if you feel your eyes are becoming dry
- eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E, which help protect your eyes (these nutrients are found in oily fish, leafy greens, red peppers, oranges, eggs, nuts, beans, pork and oyster)
- visiting your optometrist regularly.
If your sight is fine but you would like to make your eyes appear brighter, don’t forget to use a gentle moisturiser at night and underneath make-up. If you are planning on spending time out in the sun, use sunscreen around your eyes. But don’t be too generous with the application because if the lotion gets into your eyes, it will make them sting.
Applying mascara to lashes tends to make eyes look larger and more youthful. Eyeliner, on the other hand, will cause your eyes to appear smaller.
Puffy eyes can add years to your appearance. If you wake up with puffy eyes or they begin to appear later in the day just as you are about to go out for a night on the town, a quick fix is to use a cooling eye mask. Lie down and place the mask over your closed eyes for a few minutes.
Do you have any other ideas for keeping the windows to our souls looking youthful? What habits do you avoid in order not to damage your eyesight?