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Tips for eye care, is very much related to living a healthy life in general. This is due to most of the eye problem if it is not genetic (based on family history), usually it is due to the high blood pressure, diabetes, and narrowing or hardening of the arteries. All of these problems if left untreated will lead to sight loss.
Eat Healthy Food
Eyes is often thought that, its healthiness is not depending on what you consume, but the truth is, it is depending on your food consumption. Eat food that is dense with nutrients will let you have a good health hence avoiding complication that will occur to your eyes due to your health complication (1).
As part of your healthy diet, opt for food that is packed with antioxidants, like vitamins A and C, which is proven good for the eye’s health. Food such as green leafy vegetables, foods that has colour such as orange and red has high vitamins A and C. It also contains carotenoid that is good for eyes. Carotenoid is the antioxidant found usually in plants that is vibrant in colour such as red, orange, yellow and green. Apart from this, it can also act as cancer- fighting agent (2). Carotenoid works in the macular (most sensitive part in retina that is responsible for the vision production and our ability to perceive colours) (3).
Lutein and zeaxhantin are types of carotenoid.
An inadequate intake of antioxidants, consumption of alcohol or saturated fats may create free-radical reactions that can harm the macula. High-fat diets can also cause deposits that constrict blood flow in the arteries. The eyes are especially sensitive to this, given the small size of the blood vessels that feed them (2).
By exercise regularly, body will have lower risk of getting various kind of metabolic disease such as diabetes, kidney problem and heart problem, thus lower the risk of getting complication that can impair eyes function. Example of metabolic disease that can impair eyes directly is, diabetes, which in the later stage can cause diabetic retinopathy. The condition where blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina) is damaged. At first, it may cause no symptoms or mild blurry vision, eventually it can cause blindness (4).
The American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO) urges public to protect eyes from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Sunglasses are more than a bold statement; they are a smart healthy choice. Long term, exposure to the sun without proper protection can increase risk of eye disease such as cataract, macular degeneration, growth on the eye and rare form of eye cancer (5).
While short-term exposure can also damage the eyes. Sun reflecting off water can cause a painful sunburn on the front part of the eye, called photokeratitis. It causes redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to bright light, and in rare cases, even temporary vision loss (5).
The good news is that prevention is simple: Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation (5).
Smoking is not only bad for your lungs. It can hurt your eyes, as well. Smoking increases your risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts (1).
Eye care in conclusion
People usually take eyesight for granted in fact health in general, only when we started to loss the ability then we started to really take care of it. Start now to take care of your eyes by doing the above, also if you always on the screen you may also, gives your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you have family history of problem with eye, make sure to do comprehensive dilate eye exam regularly. While if you wear contact, make sure to disinfect your contact lenses and replace them regularly. Also do not forget to wash your hands before you touch your eyes and face especially in this COVID19 situation (1).
In this fast-changing world that we are in today, people want things to be done quick and always ready! People use various kind of devices and gadgets to speed up process of doing work. Initially, computer was built not for the sake of email and doing work, but it is actually to calculate and tabulate census for United States of America population since the population has grown bigger, it was started with a machine sort of punch card machine in 1880, where due to this the government save about $5 million in order to tabulate the census. From that sort of punch card machine, Alan Turing then presents another universal machine which capable of computing anything that is computable, the central concept of modern computer today is based on his ideas. Few years later, in 1939 Hewlet – Packard is founded by David Packard and Bill Hewlett in California, until today the computer that we are using is evolve from time to time, to the small smartphone on our hands that is capable of doing so many thing just like the bulky desktop (1).
All these technologies make us even more connected to devices like smartphone to connect with other people or to get things done. From paying bills, to designing, networking, sales, work, presentation, you name it all must be done using laptop, computer, smart phone, and the devices. The fact is everyone everyday is looking at the screen for long time, when the recommended hour to look at the screen is only 2 hours per day (2).
Why screening is bad for eyes?
White light that we see from sun and electronic devices is a combination from red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. Each of these lights has different energy and wavelength. Rays on red have longer wavelength and less energy, while the blue rays have shorter wavelength and more energy. Light that looks white can have a large blue component, which can expose the eye to a higher amount of wavelength from the blue end spectrum (3).
Sun also have this blue light, but blue light exposure from screen is small compared to exposure from sun, thus why makes it bad for eyes. Furthermore, screen exposure has closer proximity to eyes and the time spent looking at screen is longer than at the sun (3,4).
Almost all visible blue light penetrates the eyes through cornea, lens and reaches the retina, due to this, it makes eyes prematurely aging.
Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can decrease contrast leading to digital eyestrain. Fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, or how you sit in front of the computer can cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing. Apart from that, studies also suggested that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retina cells. This condition can cause problems like age-related macular degeneration (4).
Macular degeneration is the result of photoreceptor cell death in the retina. The function of the photoreceptor cells is to capture visual images and signal them to the brain using a molecule called retinal. Retinal, which is produced by the eye, is triggered by blue light and causes various chemical reactions. These reactions within the eye can be poisonous to the photoreceptor cell molecules rendering them damaged. When these photoreceptor cells die, there’s no regeneration (4).
What can we do?
With the current work requirements where most of work and stuff need to be accomplished through the usage of electronic devices thus screening is very much essential, makes it even harder to take care eyes from the screen. No! There are actually ways to take care of your eyes still, apart from consume food that is high with antioxidants and vitamins that can improve eyesight condition you may also try and practice the tips below (5)!
As human beings, we never really appreciate the senses truly until when we loss it. The sense of smell, touch, sound, taste, and sight is one of the many benefits that we must be grateful for. Imagine waking up one day and cannot see, touch, hear the sound or loss the sense of smell, isn’t it horrible?
When it comes to the sense of sight, many people take it for granted, as people thought that the problem with vision can be corrected with the helps of lenses or spectacles. With the current advance technology that we possess now, which is lasik surgery, people even take it lightly since people think that there is cure for it. When in fact, there are many more health complication or condition that can make you loss your ability to see such as if you are diagnosed with diabetes. Scary isn’t it?
Good news is nutrition can prevent this from happening! Balance and variety diet are able to prevent many types of diseases including loss of sight. Many studies reported that the consumption of antioxidants, or better known as cancer fighting agent, can help in preventing loss of sight. Antioxidants is a compound that help in scavenging free radicals that could lead to mutation of cells and lead to cancer (1).
Since many of these antioxidants is found in the plant-based diet such as vegetables and fruits, thus one of the mechanism for this is also said due to the prevention of other chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes thus lowering the risk of vision loss. Among antioxidants that is always linked to vision health are lutein & zeaxanthin, vitamin A, omega 3, and vitamin C (2).
Lutein & Zeaxanthin (1,3)
Lutein & zeaxanthin is derived from the carotenoid’s family, which is a very common antioxidant for vision health. Apart from can be found ubiquitously in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, it can also be found in the yellowish, orange-red plant-based food such as capsicum. In nature, lutein and zeaxanthin appear to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight, especially from high-energy light rays called blue light. While in human body, lutein and zeaxanthin are rich in the macula of human eye, which the name of ‘macula lutea’ itself is derived from ‘lutein’ meaning yellow spot.
Research on lutein, zeaxanthin, and the effect of carotenoids supplement taking was conducted by National Eyes Institute (NEI), in May 2013, it is the second largest eye- disease research study namely, AREDS2. The goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of nutrients — including lutein and zeaxanthin — on the prevention of AMD and other age-related eye diseases. The participants of this study were supplemented with 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin every day, for five years. This study found out that, the use of daily antioxidant supplementation reduces risk of progressive Age-related-Macular Degeneration (AMD) by 25% among those who is diagnosed with early and intermediate macular degeneration. However, it is less clear whether it can help in preventing cataract and its progression.
Another commonly used antioxidants for eyes is vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is the common cause of night blindness. Vitamin A act as photoreceptors, where it will be used in maintaining light-sensing cells in the eyes. It is found in animal-based food such as dairy products and egg yolk.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (1,2)
EPA and DHA, which come from the omega-3 fatty acids, is not only important for the brain development during infancy but it is essential in vision health as well. Study in people with dry eyes revealed that taking EPA and DHA supplements daily for 3 months significantly reduced dry eyes symptoms by increasing the formation of tear fluid (lacrimal fluid). The dietary source of EPA and DHA is oily fish and microalgae can be found in the supplementation form as well.
Vitamin E (1,3)
Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that protect fatty acids from harmful oxidation. Since retina has a high concentration of fatty acids, adequate vitamin E intake is important for optimal eye health. A study that was conducted supplemented 7 mg of vitamins E shows that it can lower the risk of age-related cataracts by 6%, in contrast, a randomized controlled study found out that vitamin E supplementation do not slow or prevent the progression of person with already eye problem. Source of vitamin E includes almonds, sunflower seed and flaxseed oil.
Vitamin C (1,3)
Commonly vitamin C, is consumed for skin purposes but since many studies has found out that vitamin C is an important antioxidant for eye health as well, thus many supplement nowadays starting to incorporate vitamin c rich source in the eye supplementation. It is a good thing since it will give effect 2 in 1 effect!
Eyes contain high level of zinc. It acts as the transporter for vitamin A, which later will then be involved in the formation of visual pigments in retina, called melanin. For this reason, zinc deficiency is also linked to night blindness. Natural dietary resources that is high with zinc is oysters, which is also good for men’s health!
Taking care of vision health, is not merely taking time off from screen, or use shades whenever you are outside, but it is more than that. It is what you put inside your body as well. Again, healthy eating plays vital role in bettering health including vision!