Chaim Goldberg, MD is a gifted Toronto laser eye surgery provider who also offers caring and insightful ophthalmological treatment for a wide variety of visual disorders. In the paragraphs below, Dr. Goldberg provides insight about ways to maintain healthy eyes.
- If the equipment for your sport or hobby includes optional eye protection – wear it!
Eye injuries occur in Canadian workplaces every day. If your job requires eye protection — wear it! Research shows that a large percentage of workplace eye injuries result from flying or falling objects, sparks striking the eye or from chemicals splashed in the eye.
If your work requires prolonged use of a computer, you’re at risk of damaging your eyesight. Paying attention to the following will reduce your risk:
- Have regular eye exams and specify to your optometrist that you work on a computer
- Reduce ambient lighting which can increase the risks of eyestrain.
- Reduce the brightness of your screen and increase the contrast.
- Reduce any glare on your screen or surrounding environment. Do not shine desk lamps on your monitor.
- Blink more often. Blinking wets your eyes and helps to ward off dryness and irritation.
- Look away from the computer screen every 20 or 30 minutes. Take a break for a minute or two and give your eyes a chance to focus at different distances.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects
Almost 50 per cent of all eye injuries in North America happen in the home. And a large percentage of these are a result of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and work. Working on your vehicle, woodworking or even refinishing a table can be potentially hazardous to your eyes if you don’t take the proper precautions.
- Flying objects such as metal or woodchips can cause injuries so always wear protective goggles when necessary.
- When welding – wear goggles under your face helmet for added protection.
- If you do a lot of DIY work, invest in an eyewash kit for emergencies.
Diet and Vision
More and more clinical studies show that certain foods increase eye health. The vegetables below will provide the best source of nutrients when cooked lightly, not overcooked.
- Lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect the eyes against UV radiation from the sun. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in many dark-coloured fruits and vegetables, including: spinach, squash, broccoli, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, dark green lettuce, kiwis, mangoes, prunes, grapes, oranges and peaches.
- Vitamin A is essential for eye health. Foods rich in vitamin A include: beef liver, chicken liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, sweet red peppers, mangoes and cantaloupes. If you drink alcohol, or smoke, you should add extra vitamin A to your diet.
- Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce the occurance of both cataracts and macular degeneration. Foods high in vitamin C include: sweet red peppers, kale, broccoli, sweet green peppers, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupes, grapefruit, mangoes and raspberries.
- Vitamin E is another vitamin which aids in good eye health. Vitamin E is found in nuts: sunflower seeds, almonds,hazelnuts, peanuts, and mangoes.
Your Eyes and the Sun
Ultraviolet (UV) rays penetrate deep into our eyes and can cause damage.
- Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat during times of high UV concentration – between the hours of 10a.m. and 2p.m.
- Protect your eyes near reflective surfaces such as water, snow and sand.
- Only wear UV-protective sunglasses. Proper sunglasses should block out at least 75 per cent of visible light and no less than 99 per cent of UV rays.
- Wraparound sunglasses are the best for protecting the eyes from UV radiation.
Children and Eye Health
Children should be taken for their first eye test by the age of three years. After this, most eye care providers recommend visits every one to two years.
- Always have plenty of light available when your child is reading or writing at home.
- If your child is having problems at school you may want to have his or her eyes checked.
- Have your child wear proper protection in the sun — UV-protective sunglasses and a baseball cap are perfect for bright summer days.
- Prepare eye-healthy foods and make sure your child is getting enough vitamins in their diet.
- Ensure that your child sits an appropriate distance from the television. Check the computer to ensure a safe computing environment – as discussed in the Work Safe section.
- Make sure your child plays safe – when the sport dictates wearing protective eyewear – make sure he or she wears it.
The Importance of Eye Tests
The importance of regular eye tests can not be overstated. If caught early, many eye problems can be reversed. Eye tests can also detect high blood pressure, liver damage and other health related conditions.
- Eye check ups should begin as early as the age of three years.
- In general, eye care providers recommend regular eye tests every one to two years to age 70, at which time annual visits are encouraged.
Remember, your eyes are one of your most precious senses – protect them for life!