Ten Questions About Eye Care That You Should Know

Our eyes are the windows to our soul. Let's look at these ten questions about eye care:

Why do we need to worry about the health of our eyes?
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We use our eyes for all of our daily activities. Can you imagine not being able to see the text of the newspaper or not being able to see clearly to drive or simply to cross the road?

What measures should we take to keep eyes in tip-top condition?
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Just like visiting the dentist, your eyes need regular professional care, too. You need to get your eyes examined on a regular basis even though you feel that you can see 6/6 or 20/20 (the equivalent American standard). Eyecare practitioners consider this the average visual acuity for human beings, so they can see comfortably at 12m.

Many people are unaware that an eye exam can detect eye diseases. Like the rest of your body, your eyes will change gradually as you age. However, unlike the rest of your body, your eyes rarely hurt if something is wrong.

Eye diseases, like glaucoma, will slowly and irreversibly steal your sight away if it is not detected early.

Children with visual deficit that is not properly diagnosed and managed may display avoidance, or even behavioural problems, before the teachers or the parents recognise the problem as visually related.

What are the common eye problems?
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Some examples are eye coordination problems with complaint of intermittent blur, eye strain and, in some cases, double vision.

The good news is that most of these problems can be identified and remedied through professional optometric care or eye exercises.

Do contact lenses cause many problems, and can they be prevented?
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Certainly, you can be sure that eyecare professionals are vigilant about stressing the need for better patient education and follow-up care.

Contact lens wearers should not overwear their contact lenses and they should allow at least one day's rest from wearing contact lenses each week.

How damaging to your eyes are long hours in front of the computer?
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Staring at the computer continually can lead to "Computer Vision Syndrome". Symptoms may include eye irritation, fatigue, pain in the eye, dryness, excessive tearing or blinking.

We can't stop using computers, so what measures can we take to ease the Computer Vision Syndrome?
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The most common problem is dry eye. Blink rate tends to be reduced while working on the Pc. Using eyedrops several times a day could help.In addition, try doing some simple eye focusing exercises a few times a day. Simply hold up and look at a pencil tip or text placed at reading distance for a few seconds, making sure that it's clear.

Then shift your attention to a distant object such as the clock. Repeat procedure for about 20 times. Subsequently, if you're still struggling to see comfortably while working on the computer, you may need prescription eyeglasses designed specifically for working on the PC.

Are there any dietary ways to keep our eyes healthy?
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Six nutrients have a promising role in maintaining eye health. They are the antioxidant vitamins C and E, the carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and the mineral, zinc. In other words, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy ones.

Do any health supplements help in any way?
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Recent studies have shown that high-dose nutritional supplementation with previously mentioned contents can slow the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, so maintaining eye health through supplementation is a good practice. Omega-3 supplementation is helpful for those with dry eyes.

We exercise to keep our bodies healthy. Should we exercise our eyes too?
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Our eyes have evolved to be most efficient operating at a far distance. It is only recently that our attention shifted to the length of our own arm: the printed page or the computer screen.

This change can hinder the efficiency of the natural state of our eyes, causing near-point vision stress. To enhance the efficiency of our eyes, I recommend playing ball games such as tennis, golf and baseball. Such activities require dynamic vision and help to maintain a high level of depth perception and accurate eye muscle control.

Protection of the eye from ultraviolet light during outdoor activities is also important for everyone - especially for children, because 80 per cent of ultraviolet exposure in their lifetime occur before the age of 18.

Recent studies from John Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute predicted increased incidents of cataracts and UV-B exposure because of ozone depletion.

How frequently should we have eye examinations?
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The American Optometric Association's Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that adults between ages 40 and 60 receive a comprehensive eye examination every two years, and adults over 60 receive an annual exam. School-aged children need to have an examination annually. As a guide, your eyes should be checked at least once every two years or as recommended by your eyecare professional.

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