As any optometrist would tell you, the numbers of people with vision impairment have risen greatly over the past few decades. Walk into a College and it would be hard to spot a student without spectacles. The ones that don’t wear spectacles probably wear contact lenses. There seems to be a significant rise in the use of vision corrective lenses especially among the youth. Even adults, who had powerful vision in their teens, have begun to turn towards the use of vision corrective lenses to aid their weakening vision. Most people would complain of headaches after a long day at work or eye strain after watching a movie. What is weakening our eyes and damaging our natural vision?
You would probably know that your grandparents or great grand parents did not wear spectacles when they were in their youthful days. A few generations ago it was rare to see anyone wear spectacles. Most of the vision related ailments that we hear today were unheard Vision 20 of back then. So what has changed between then and now? Our Life style! Today’s society with all its developments leads a very fast life. Everyone is either going somewhere or doing something. Life has become one rat race. There’s hardly any time for rest or relaxation. People opt for fast food, knowing that it’s not the best choice for one’s health, simple because of convenience. Modern day life styles have forced people to make choices that are harmful to their health. Stress levels are at an all time high. But how does all this explain the deterioration in vision?
Well, research has proven that the number one cause of vision impairment is Stress. Most people nowadays are in a constant state of stress. Work pressure, social problems, financial worries and frustration over world issues all add up to the stress you would carry with you throughout the day. When you don’t allow yourself to relieve the stress and tension, what happens is that the stress gets accumulated in different parts of your body, leading to imbalances in the body, making it difficult to function as it is intended to. This is true in relation to your vision. Stress can interfere with the natural functioning of your eyes, leading to poor vision. Your eyes are designed to move freely and contract and relax when necessary without being forced to focus at a single point for prolong periods of time. When you spend endless hours at the computer you are actually building up stress in your eye and creating an imbalance which leads to poor vision. Of course it would be impossible to avoid computers altogether, since computers have become such an important part of our lives. What we need to do is to minimize the screen time and allow rest and relaxation to our eyes. Here are some simple changes you could make to your life style that will help you preserve your natural vision.
1)When working at the computer for long hours remember to look away from the screen every 10-15 minutes. This will reduce the strain on your eyes and allow your eyes to relax. Just try it once and you will feel the relaxation in your eyes.
2) Remember to consciously blink when watching the television or when reading. Blinking is an involuntary action, however stress can result in most people not blinking adequately. Most people get caught in the excitement while watching television, and forget to blink adequately, which could lead to ‘dry eye’. When trying to read small texts, you would often find yourself staring hard at the text. This is not good for your eyes. Be more aware of times you may not blink adequately and consciously blink.
3) Spare a few minutes each day for eye care. Your vision is a precious gift. A few minutes each day to take care of your precious eyes shouldn’t be too much to ask. There are many eye exercises you could do to improve eye health; ‘palming’ being one of the best of such exercises. Palming is a simple eye exercise that can relieve the stress in your eyes and even correct refractive errors. Simply close your eyes and place your palms over each eye. Let the fingers overlap on your forehead. You might want to rest your elbows on a desk while doing this exercise. Try to perform this for about 5 minutes the first time, and work your way to increasing the duration up to 15 minutes. The benefits you experience will motivate you to continue this amazing exercise.
4) Try to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Vegetables and fruits contain vital vitamins and minerals which are essential for your eye health. Especially vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots and fruits such as banana, papaw and apple are said to benefit eye health. Nuts and milk too should be included in an ‘eye-healthy’ diet.
5) Engage in leisure activities that don’t strain your eyes. Modern day leisure activities would include spending time on social networking sites, watching television, watching movies and reading. These activities demand a lot from your eyes. Instead, spend your leisure time playing a musical instrument, walking outdoors or playing sport.
Simple changes in your life style will play a huge role in ensuring you preserve your natural vision in the long run. Your vision is a precious gift and it is upto you to preserve it. Also remember that if you wear vision corrective lenses, your natural vision can be restored through simple changes allowing you to enjoy better vision without lenses!