Is your eyesight deteriorating?

New Delhi, Nov 21: Our eyes play an important role in our lives. They are the sensors that relay information about the environment to our brain. Eyes alert the brain to the prospect of both a safe environment and lurking danger.

Our eyes work all the time – from getting out of bed in the morning to sleeping at night. In modern lives, we have another source of strain on our eyes – mobile phones, laptops and TVs. Studies have shown that unabated exposure to light emitted by these gadgets are harmful for our eyes.

Why eyesight could take a hit

Technically, our eyesight can take a beating from refractive errors, the normal aging phenomenon (presbyopia, where individuals at 40+ years face difficulty in reading the small print on medicine bottles, and packet contents, among others), eye problems/diseases/infections, and injuries.

Natural light is very important for our eyes to remain healthy. In children, a lack of time outdoors could increase their chances of developing short-sightedness. If you notice your eyesight is deteriorating, the most important thing to do is to immediately visit your eye care practitioner for an eye examination / eye test. The practitioner will be able to identify underlying issues that are causing the eyesight to go bad.

Ananthalakshmi. N, Head-Education & Professional Services, Essilor India lists out ways to help keep eyes healthy:

� Eat right – Eat a healthy and balanced diet rich in Vitamin A

� Harmful Lights – Prevent your eyes from harmful radiations / light, especially ultra violet radiations & harmful blue lights

� Sun & the eyes – Sun is the biggest natural source of UV and Light. A healthy amount of sunrays are good for the eyes, looking at the sun directly can cause damage ? even lasting damage ? to the eyes.

� Artificial sources – Today, we all are exposed to a number of artificial sources of light, including LED/ LCD used in artificial lighting (bulbs / tube lights); displays on TVs, mobiles, laptops, desktops, etc. Though not as powerful as the sun, prolonged exposure / proximity to the eyes / angle of exposure, can cumulatively, have a negative impact on the eyes and its well-being.

� To protect Eyes from Harmful lights, radiation, glare and to maintain good eye health, the use of good quality Polarised lenses/ Photochromic (Light Management lenses) / Blue Filters are recommended

� Digital hygiene – 20-20-20 rule ? The 20/20/20 rule says that after every 20 minutes of use, one should look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will relax the eye muscles.

� Quit smoking – The development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract has been linked to smoking. Smoking doubles the chances of losing your sight and can exacerbate diabetes-related vision problems.

� Yearly eye check-ups – Children should be made to undergo an eye check-up before they start school, and thereafter, every year. The most important step you can take to keep your eyes healthy is to undertake regular eye check-ups. An eye test does more than just determine whether you need glasses or a stronger prescription. Your eye care practitioner will also examine the overall health of your eyes, which means he/she will be able to detect early stages of eye diseases, such as cataract or glaucoma, even before you notice any symptoms.

� Wear good quality spectacle lenses – Remember, prescription power only gives the quantity of vision, but the quality of vision is enhanced by choosing a trusted brand of spectacle lens.

Now is the opportunity to develop good eye habits. Taking care of your eyes now, regardless of your age or medical history, can help you avoid vision-related difficulties later in life. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you probably don’t give your eye health much thought. It’s time to change that perception any give eye-health its due importance.