The skin that surrounds your eyes is very thin and susceptible to ultraviolet radiation. Different types of skin cancer, such as carcinoma and melanoma, are able to form in your eyelids and around your eyes, which can cause a lot of damage to the eye structure.
Your sunglasses are also important, and you should buy a pair that gives you 100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays since they are both able to stimulate issues that cause macular degeneration and cataracts, both common causes of blindness.
Eating well is the best way to ensure proper eye care, says Rebecca Taylor, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Nashville Vision Associates in Tennessee, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She also says that you should try to get most of your nutrients from food.
Green leafy vegetables provide your body with the nutrients zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which have been shown to decrease the risk of eye diseases. The vitamin A that orange and yellow vegetables contain also boost eye health, while certain fruits, such as mangoes, oranges, and strawberries provide your eyes with a healthy dose of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
According to Steven Loomis, OD, of Roxborough Park, Colorado, president of the American Optometric Association, one of the most common symptoms of dry eyes is an eye that waters. This is due to the deterioration of the oily and mucous layers, which prevents the evaporation of tears, thereby causing the eye to compensate by producing more water. Dry eyes might also be caused by certain medications, such as antidepressants, inflammation, or even hormonal changes.
To treat dry eyes, try the 20-20-20 rule, which is recommended by the Mayo Clinic - Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something that's at least 20 feet away. A warm compress could also help, as can artificial tears that help deal with tired eyes.
Preventing diabetes is the most effective way to avoid diabetic retinopathy, which has been found to be the most common cause of blindness in the United States. In fact, 60% of patients with Type II diabetes will end up developing it, while almost all people with Type I diabetes end up developing it.
Even though no symptoms appear during its early stages, it is very important to catch retinopathy as early as can be. With time, your vision may blur and you could even end up completely blind. Controlling blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure can prevent it from getting worse. This condition can be treated through laser surgery, which can lessen the chances of further blindness.
Macular degeneration takes place when eye tissue begins to degenerate, leading to blurriness or loss of vision in the center of the eye. There are two distinct types of macular degeneration: dry and wet. If vision loss is caused by retinal fluid, then eye injections can treat it.
Unfortunately, most cases are dry, for which no treatment is available. Risk factors for macular degeneration include smoking, a family history of the condition, lutein and zeaxanthin deficiencies, and not wearing sunglasses.
Glaucoma is renowned for being secretive and insidious, and the only way to detect it is through an eye test. It occurs when pressure builds up and starts to harm the optic nerve. The condition progresses very slowly, Loomis says, and it can take years for the nerve damage to become severe enough to cause vision problems.
The risk is higher for diabetics or those with a family history. In most cases, treatment includes a daily eye drop to reduce eye pressure. If the drops fail to provide any tangible improvement, then surgery may be the only choice left.