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We all know eyes are important, but how many of us actually actively make an effort to look after our eyes. Most of us go to the dentist on a regular basis and of course if your teeth are not good then dentures can be fitted. But I’m always amazed at the amount of people that don’t consider eye care, because unlike teeth there is no replacement. So, what should we do to look after our eyes to ensure we keep them healthy?
Firstly, to care about the eye, you need to understand it. The human eye is an organ that reacts with light and allows light perception, colour vision and depth perception. A normal human eye can see about 10 million different colours! There are many parts of a human eye, and contrary to what you might think, the human eye is not a perfect sphere, but is made up of two differently shaped pieces, the cornea and the sclera. These two parts are connected by a ring called the limbus. The part of the eye that is seen is the iris, which is the colourful part of the eye. In the middle of the iris is the pupil, the black dot that changes size. The cornea covers these elements, but is transparent. The fundus is on the opposite of the pupil, but inside the eye and can not be seen without special instruments. The optic nerve is what conveys the signals of the eye to the brain.
So, how do we care for them? Well the first thing is quite obvious, get regular eye checks at the optician. Wearing glasses or contact lenses of the correct prescription. If you do wear, contact lenses there is always the temptation to buy cheap. But what people often don’t realise is that these are generally of a very poor quality and can actually cause scarring on the eye. And of course, over time cause irreplaceable damage. So, the old adage is true when it comes to contacts “you get what you pay for” and who in their right mind would risk scarring when their eyes are so important. So only using quality contact lenses is imperative to maintaining healthy eyes.
Another thing that is equally important is protecting our eyes from the sun. I have in the past been guilty of buying cheap sunglasses and not taking notice of any UV protection, concerning myself more with the style and look. But now as I’m getting a little older, I’d like to think I’m getting a little wiser too so make sure I wear a good quality pair of sunglasses. One of the first things I noticed is how much more comfortable my eyes felt in bright sunlight! So now I always look for the CE,UV 400 or British Standard Trade Mark, and although I pay more for them they seem to last longer and one of the reasons is I tend to look after them more carefully, so better for my eyes and my pocket!
One of the things people often do not consider when thinking of eye care is how important diet and exercise are. Because making the wrong food choices and lack of exercise can lead to diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure. So, what should we be eating. My mum was always telling me to eat my carrots so I can see in the dark, something I have found myself telling my daughter too. But actually, leafy greens like kale and spinach are good for eye health as well as foods containing omega 3. I’m not a smoker and although people are smoking less and less there is still a minority of people who do. Most people quit because they are concerned about lung cancer or heart disease, but smoking can cause macular degeneration and cataracts and can harm the optic nerve.
As a parent I am trying to do my very best to look after my health and this very much includes my eyes. I want to see Alyssa grow up and be able to actually see her become a young woman as well as be there.