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Tips on How to Take Care of Your Eyes

Guidelines from your eye care specialist in Toronto, Ontario

There are many routine daily actions you can take to preserve your eye health and keep your vision crisp and clear. By following a few simple practices outlined below, you can reduce your risk of developing many common ocular diseases and vision problems.

Book regular eye exams

First and foremost, visit your local eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam near you. This is the most significant way to take care of your eyes. It is typical to have a problem and not know about it, because many eye diseases don’t present with symptoms during the early stages. Once your eye care provider detects the signs of an ocular condition, you can receive treatment – and early treatment goes far towards preventing vision loss.

Be aware of your risk factors for eye diseases

Normal aging raises your risk of certain eye diseases. Additionally, your risk is higher if you:

  • Are obese or overweight
  • Have a family history of ocular disease
  • Are African American, Native American, or Hispanic
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure

Some ocular conditions run in families, so it’s important to speak with other family members to find out about any eye problems. Then, visit a center for eye care near you to discuss your personal risk factors. The optometry team can inform you about various ways to decrease your chances of developing specific eye diseases.

Make healthy lifestyle choices

Eyes are a part of your whole body, and protecting your overall well-being can help safeguard your vision too. Healthy habits are essential, such as eating nutritiously and being physically active. These behaviors can reduce your risk for diseases that can lead to vision problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Our eye doctor in , Ontario , shares the following guidelines for taking care of your whole body:

  • Be active: regular exercise and cardiovascular physical activity are effective ways to keep yourself healthy
  • Eat well: include plenty of dark, leafy greens in your daily diet, such as spinach, arugula, collard greens, and kale. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, halibut, and tuna are also recommended for healthy eyes.
  • No smoking: smoking increases your chances of developing eye disease, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and it can also damage the optic nerve.

Use eye protection

Everyone knows about the need to slather on sunscreen before spending time outdoors, but many people neglect to give their eyes the same attention.

  • Wear sunglasses and sunwear: choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation, and wear whenever you’re outdoors, even on cloudy days. Hats with a visor are also helpful at blocking the sun’s rays from reaching your eyes.
  • Let your eyes rest: gazing at a computer screen for hours on end can lead to eye fatigue. Give your eyes a break by looking at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
  • Put on safety glasses: certain activities, such as playing sports, doing home repairs, and working in construction all expose your eyes to potential hazards. Protect your eyes from injury by wearing safety glasses and goggles.
  • Practice eye hygiene: always wash your hands before you insert or remove your contact lenses, and follow proper cleaning and storage guidelines for your contacts, as recommended by your eye doctor. Even if you don’t wear contacts, avoid rubbing your eyes – because fingers are exposed to a lot of dirt and bacteria, which can be transferred easily to your eyes. Also, don’t forget to remove eye makeup nightly to avoid a build-up of bacteria in your ocular area.
  • Don’t dry out your eyes: make sure to stay adequately hydrated by drinking enough water, and direct air vents in your car and home towards your torso, instead of blowing directly at your eyes.

When in doubt – book an eye exam near you

If you notice any new symptoms and don’t know what they are, such as the sudden appearance of many floaters and/or light flashes in your peripheral vision, call your eye doctor immediately. These could be signs of a retinal tear or detachment, which requires urgent eye care to prevent lasting vision damage. Or if you experience blurry vision, pain, or any oozing discharge, you may have an eye infection that needs medical treatment. Any time you aren’t sure about a symptom, it’s best to practice caution and contact a center for eye care near you.

At Corktown Eyecare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 647-694-7600 or book an appointment online to see one of our Toronto eye doctors.

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Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.  

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2. Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel. 

3. Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up!  

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking? 

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit. 

6. Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health. 

7. Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule 

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds. 

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too.  

9. Be careful with eye make-up 

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10. Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11. Wear protective eyewear 

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12. Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.

It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly. 

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like: 

  • Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia
  • Eye coordination 
  • Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma

It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Dr. Vakani.  

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. Corktown Eyecare offers comprehensive eye exams in Toronto, Ontario , and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.