20 Essential Hacks To Maintain Healthy Eyes In The Digital Age

We all realize the importance of staying healthy although whether we are really inclined to make necessary sacrifices in order to stay healthy is a completely different story. To our own levels of motivation and application, we resort to working out, balancing our diets, maintaining healthy lifestyle and visiting doctors regularly, all to remain healthy. And equally, we don’t want to be blind. Vision is probably the most important amongst our senses. But do we realize the importance of having good eye health, as much as having sound overall health? Most of us do not care about it, as long as our eyes can see.

For most of us, having healthy eyes means being able to see and for some more, being able to see without having to put glasses on. But, there are so many types of eye-related hazards like astigmatism, conjunctivitis, cataract, dry eyes, glaucoma and others, unknown to many of us, some of which can even end up claiming our sight. In this digital age, our eyes are having to cope with maximum level of stresses, as we’re always focusing our attention on all sorts of screens. This makes our eyes much more vulnerable to complications. So, we need to be careful to protect our eyes and thus live a joyful life. Below are twenty tips which will surely help us avoid most of the eye problems, if not all, provided we practice them on a regular basis.

1. Examine eyes regularly

Our eyes could be seeing everything properly and we might not be experiencing any significant problem with our eyes. But, they could be suffering from problems like dryness, glaucoma or macular degeneration, the problems which often do not have any warnings. So, it’s wise to examine our eyes regularly by visiting the ophthalmologist. This will help us know if our eyes are really well and if there are any issues, we will know them early so that they can be easily dealt with. An anually complete eye examination is highly recommended to maintain healthy eyes.

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2. Be open with the medical practitioner

Just visiting the ophthalmologist often isn’t enough to maintain healthy eyes. Medical examinations should be accompanied with our frankness. Most of us like to believe that our eyes are perfect. So we try to hide facts as much as we can so that the doctor won’t be able to identify the problems with our eyes. But this must be avoided completely as by hiding facts, we won’t be able to achieve the most from medical examinations. We should provide the doctor with complete information in regards to how we’re feeling as well as full details of our own as well as our family’s health history.

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3. Stock saline solution at home

Sometimes, our eyes may come in contact with soaps, cleansers and some chemicals. The best thing to do in that case as a preliminary remedy is to rinse the eyes thoroughly with saline solution. For soaps and cleaners, it is enough to rinse the eyes thoroughly with saline for 10 to 15 minutes. But for chemicals, it might not be enough. In that case, especially if you experience irritation, you should better visit the eye doctor. So stock your medical kit with enough of saline solution.

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4. Drink plenty of water

Consumption of a sufficient amount of water is also very important to maintain healthy eyes. This helps to keep the eyes hydrated. Saline solution also helps in keeping eyes hydrated but water consumption is a much easier and risk-free way to do the same thing. Specially alkaline ionized drinking water is more beneficial because it has anti-oxidant properties, enhances the immune system and improves the absorption and benefits of vitamins, which help in eye health. Ionized and safe alkaline drinking water can be obtained easily at home and at offices nowadays thanks to water ionizer from companies such as Bawell.

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5. Maintain air quality at home and office

In the winter, we often use heating systems in homes and offices which create dry air. Prolonged exposure to dry air leads to hazards such as dryness of eyes, irritation and itches. The best way to prevent this without turning off the heater is to use a portable humidifier to keep the air moist, which will help in the prevention of eye irritation caused by dryness. Besides, the air inside the house and workplaces also should be clean so that there’s no chance of irritants contaminating our eyes.

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6. Eat your way to good vision

Proper diet is also very important to maintain healthy eyes and for having good vision. One should eat lots of green leafy vegetables like spinach, collard greens and kale, which help avoid macular degeneration. Blueberries meanwhile help in the reduction of eye fatigue and apricots, which are rich in beta carotene and lycopene, promote good vision. Tea helps to deter cataracts. Often, we also need to take supplements such as vitamins. It is advisable to turn to them only after consultation with doctors.

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7. Quit smoking

Medical researches suggest that smoking makes individuals more likely to get cataracts, optic nerve damage, and macular degeneration. So, it’s best to quit smoking as soon as possible, if you haven’t been able to avoid it completely firsthand. But it’s not the easiest thing to do for those who have taken it up. They need to try harder and harder considering the risks they’re putting their eyes in.

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How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

Diabetes

Diabetes

Nedlands optometrist says 7 out of 10 people with diabetes will develop changes to their eyes

“More than 70 per cent of Australians with diabetes will develop changes to their eyes within 15 years of diagnosis,” says Nedlands optometrist, Damon Ezekiel.

Patients who have had diabetes for a number of years can develop changes in the retina, at the back of the eye. This is known as diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when tiny blood vessels inside the retina are damaged. The damage can block off small blood vessels, starving areas of the retina of blood, or make the vessels leak, causing swelling and bleeding.

While little is known about prevention of diabetic retinopathy, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent up to 98 per cent of severe vision loss.

“Two types of retinopathy can occur. The first, known as background retinopathy, rarely causes any vision loss and doesn’t require treatment.

The second, proliferative retinopathy, is more serious and requires early treatment to prevent serious vision loss,” said Damon.

In some cases, laser or surgical treatment of the retina is required.

“All people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and the longer a person has diabetes, the greater the risk. Poor control of blood sugar levels can also increase the risk,” said Damon.

It is estimated that only half the Australians with diabetes have a regular eye exam and one third have never been checked.

“An eye exam every two years is necessary for people with diabetes because often there are no symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until serious damage has occurred,” said Damon.

Facts and tips

  • All people with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy
  • An eye exam every two years is necessary for early detection and treatment
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent severe vision loss

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

8 Simple Eye Exercises To Keep Your Eyes Healthy

8 Simple Eye Exercises To Keep Your Eyes Healthy

We exercise our arms, legs, abs, and even our behinds, but have you ever thought of exercising your eyes? Any eye doctor will tell you that it is good to keep your eyes healthy, and doing some simple exercises is a great way to improve the health of your eyes. Some exercises will improve vision, others will help people with tired or strained eyes, and still others will correct a lazy eye or blurred vision. Here are some very simple eye exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home:

1. You Can Keep Your Eyes Healthy By Closing Them

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There’s a bit more to this one, but even if you just made sure you slept an appropriate amount of time each night, your eye health would imporove! However, for this exercise you will also need to use your fingers.

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Place a couple of fingers over each eyelid
  3. Press lightly for 2 seconds then release (Make sue you don’t press too hard!)
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times
  5. Allow your eyes to re-adjust to the light once repetitions are finished

2. Rolling Your Eyes Will Improve Eye Health

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Rolling your eyes is something you do when annoyed, but if done properly, it can help to improve your vision.

  1. Roll your eyes slowly to the left in a circle
  2. Repeat 5 to 10 times
  3. Roll your eyes slowly to the right in a circle
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times

 

3. Look to the Side

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We look to the right and left all the time, but you may be turning your head more than using your eyes to do this, and your eyes still need this exercise to function better.

  1. Sit or stand still for this exercise
  2. Look as far right as you can (but don’t put too much strain on your eyes)
  3. Hold your gaze for 5 to 10 seconds
  4. Look to the far left
  5. Hold your gaze for 5 to 10 seconds
  6. Look back to the center for a second or 2
  7. Repeat this exercise 10 times

4. Go Cross-Eyed

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Trying to look cross-eyed can be a bit painful, and is something that is usually done to make people laugh. But when you did it as a prank, you were actually improving your vision!

  1. Pick an slender object like a pen to focus on
  2. Hold the object at arm’s length, in front of your face
  3. Bring the object towards your nose, slowly while keeping both eyes on it
  4. After it reaches your nose, slowly move it back to arm’s length
  5. Repeat 5 to 10 times

5. The Surprised Look Will Keep Your Eyes Healthy

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You know that wide-eyed look people have when they are shocked or surprised about something? It turns out that this look is actualy good for eye health.

  1. Squint your eyes as if trying to se something far away
  2. Keep your eyes squinted for 5 seconds
  3. Open your eyes as wide as you can
  4. Keep your eyes open for 5 seconds
  5. Repeat 10 times

 

 

6. Use Your Hands to Heat Your Eyes

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If you’ve ever been annoyed by constantly seeing those “floaters” that come up when your eyes are strained or tired, you will want to try this exercise:

  1. Rub the bottom part of your palms together to heat up the skin
  2. Press (lightly) your palms over your closed eyes
  3. Hold for 5 seconds
  4. Repeat 5 times

7. Refocusing Will Relieve Eye Strain

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So many people work on computers now, and it’s no secret that computer screens can really strain the eyes. If you find your eyes getting tired, or the images on your screen going a bit blurry, it is a good time to do this exercise.

  1. Look away from your screen
  2. Pick an object 10 feet away from you and an object 25 to 30 feet away from you (make sure both are somewhat in line with each other)
  3. Facing the objects you’ve chosen, put your thumb in front of your face, at arm’s length and focus on that
  4. Put your thumb down and look at the object that is 10 feet away from you
    Now switch to the object that is 25 to 30 feet away
  5. Work backwards from there and look at the object 10 feet away
  6. Put your thumb back in front of your face and focus on it at arm’s length
  7. Repeat this process 5 to 10 times

8. Close Your Eyes – For Real

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If your job requires you to stare at a screen for 8 hours, or you haven’t been getting enough sleep, or your eyes are just overworked, sometimes the best “exercise” to improve your eye health is closing them for a few minutes. Even if you are not able to go to sleep, just the act of resting your eyes will help relieve any strain on your eyes.

  1. Turn off your monitor and turn your chair away from any bright lights
  2. Lean back in your chair, or put a small pillow under your head for support
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Leave eyes closed for 5 to 10 minutes
  5. Repeat twice per day

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Digital Eye Strain – Do you know the 20/20/20 rule?

Digital Eye Strain – Do you know the 20/20/20 rule?

The first thing that many people do when they wake up is to check their cell phone. If you are living with keratoconus, you may need the extra step of putting in your contact lenses before you’re able to turn on your digital devices.  According to a well-respected survey, Americans spend 7.4 hours looking at screens each day: computer, TV, smartphone or tablet. That amounts to almost half of our waking hours!

These devices can interfere with productivity, posture, sleeping habits, and lead to technology-related health issues. Among the most common complaints is eye strain. Blurry vision, headaches, and eye fatigue affect people who spend hours in front of a screen. The impact is compounded for KC patients.

The Causes

Normally, we blink about 15 times a minute, but that number can be only 5-7 times a minute if we are using a computer or other digital screen device. Forgetting to blink exacerbates dryness and irritation. If, like many KC patients, you wear contact lenses, moisture on the eye is essential to feeling comfortable and maintaining eye health. Some experts advise installing a humidifier in an office or room where extended time is spent on the computer. Others recommend using artificial tears to refresh dry eyes.

Viewing distances and angles used are different from those normally used for other reading or writing. (Have you ever looked at your smart phone under the table during a meeting?) You are not only adding pressure to your neck while you tilt your head, the level of contrast may not be optimal, and the presence of glare and reflection on the screen may make viewing difficult. Proper lighting and minimizing glare are two tricks you can employ to ease eye strain.

If you are inside working on a computer, the ambient lighting should be about half as bright as that found in most offices. Avoid excessively bright light from outdoors by closing drapes or drawing shades. Most people prefer to avoid working under overhead fluorescent lights. If possible, turn off the overhead lights and use a desk lamp to provide necessary light. Spend some time selecting the optimal display for your computer screen or cellphone: adjust for text size, brightness and contrast. Position your computer screen so that your eye gaze is slightly downward.

The Solution

Employ the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Look up from your computer screen regularly. Look out the window or at some object 20 feet away for a full 20 seconds. It takes at least that much time for your eyes to relax. This is a necessary break to avoid eye fatigue. Get up and stretch regularly. Blink. And enjoy things IRL (in real life)!

There’s an App for that

Ironically, if you can’t remember to regularly get away from your smartphone or computer to rest your eyes, you can download a computer program that will remind you to take a break, or even to blink.

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online

Cataracts

Cataracts

Nedlands optometrist warns against the danger of leaving cataracts untreated

Nedlands optometrist, Damon Ezekiel, says, “One in four people over the age of 60 has signs of cataracts, so people in this age group should have their eyes examined regularly”

“An examination by your optometrist will reveal any changes to the lens of the eye that may lead to cataracts before any symptoms appear,” said Damon.

A cataract is a cloudiness that forms in the lens of the eye, which over time grows larger making it difficult to see.

Generally the development of cataracts is a gradual and painless deterioration in sight. Other symptoms can include blurred or hazy vision, spots before the eyes, double vision and increased sensitivity to glare.

“Surgery is usually performed when the patient’s vision starts to interfere with daily life. Most patients have a plastic lens inserted to replace their own lens, with almost all people having improved vision and quality of life afterward.

“Cataract surgery is now a relatively minor procedure that is safe and effective, often performed under local anaesthetic,” said Damon

There is no proven method to prevent cataracts, though cigarette smoking and UV exposure increase your risk.  A broad brimmed hat and sunglasses that meet Australian standards should be worn outdoors to reduce this risk.

It is estimated that over 50 per cent of Australians over the age of 70 have cataracts.  Around 160,000 cataract operations are performed annually.

It is expected that the number of people who will become blind from cataract will increase by 75 per cent by 2024, unless there is increased prevention activity.

Cataract facts and tips

  • Regular eye examinations are the key to diagnosis and treatment for cataract.
  • Symptoms can include blurred or hazy vision, spots before the eyes, double vision and increased sensitivity to glare.
  • Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure, often done under local anaesthetic.

For further information please contact Ezekiel Eyes or Book an appointment today.

How Do I Get Started?

Call (08) 9386 3620 or book online