Practically speaking, our eyes are the windows through which we view the world around us. Either way, there’s no question that we place great value on our eyes and our vision. Surveys have shown that of the five senses, sight is the one that people fear losing the most.
Some people have been blessed by never having to deal with any issues with their eyes. Sadly, most of us are not as lucky and so we need to understand why our eyes must be protected. Although most of us take our eyelids for granted, eyelids are actually pretty complex. Our eyelids have hair follicles, two different types of skin, and several glands which are all responsible for keeping your cornea nourished, clear and comfortable.
Good eyelid hygiene is important to prevent eyelid infection and maintain a healthy ocular surface. Given the important function our eyes perform for us, it would seem to follow that we’d give them the best care possible, but sometimes we get too busy or we forget to do a few simple things that can keep our eyes healthy.
Vitamin A is essential to healthy eyes and normal eyesight. Chronic, severe vitamin A deficiency causes a condition called xerophthalmia, or drying of the eye. It affects the cornea, the transparent covering that allows light to enter the eye. In xerophthalmia, the normally clear and glistening cornea becomes extremely dry. If left untreated, this condition can lead to blindness. Xerophthalmia afflicts some 3 million children each year in developing countries. Up to 250,000 of them end up permanently blind — a tragedy that could be prevented by an adequate diet or supplementation with vitamin A.
Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy eyes well into your golden years.
· Read in good light. Dim light won’t hurt your eyes but can tire them more quickly.
· Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body.
· Take frequent breaks from whatever you’re doing to give your eye muscles a rest.
· If you have glasses or contacts, use them. You won’t have to strain so hard to see.