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Maintaining Eyesight - Protect Yourself

Sep 1, 2008
Do you squint when reading from your computer screen? Do numbers and letters seem to phase in and out from time to time? Do you find it hard to focus? If so, you are probably experiencing deterioration of your eyesight. Eyes are often neglected by people and their eyesight often deteriorates prematurely as a result of this neglect. Here are a few tips to keeping your eyes healthy for longer and avoiding cataract operations later in life.

Stop Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can be very bad for your eyes, not to mention your heart, lungs and social life. A recent article in Reuters Health Information states that smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts, clouding the lens and impairing vision. If you stop smoking you have a far reduced risk of developing cataracts in later life, but only some of the damage done to your eye by smoking cigarettes is reversible. Give up, and if you don't smoke, don't start.

A study found that men who quit smoking had a 23% reduced risk of cataract diagnosis and a 28% reduced risk for cataract removal compared with those who carried on smoking.

Using computers on a daily basis, is probably more strenuous on eyes than any other part of the body. The most common complaints are eye fatigue, eyestrain, eye irritation and blurred vision. Computer users often complain of tired, burning, itchy or watery eyes, headaches, flickering sensations and an inability to focus.

UV Rays
Exposure to UV, whether from the sun's rays or from fluorescent lights within a work place, causes eye damage. From a young age, children should be encouraged to wear sunglasses with a UV protection factor of 30 or above. UV exposure is the leading cause of cataracts.

Eye Strain
Eye strain can be caused by reading when tired, stress, glare on computer screens, bad posture and tiredness. The symptoms are headaches, blurry vision, sore, itchy or burning eyes. You can ease eye strain by placing your hands over your eyes or splashing them with cold water.

Eye Exercise
Like any muscle in the body, the eyes need to be regularly exercised to keep them healthy. Here are a few things you can do on a daily basis which may help:

-Roll your eyes from side to side
-Close your eyes for three seconds, and then open them for three seconds. Repeat.
-Switch between focusing on an item that is close by for three seconds, and then an item which is far away for three seconds.
-Blink regularly and try not to stay focused on one thing for long periods.
About the Author
John McE writes on behalf of Focus Laser Vision , a London Laser Eye Surgery Clinic consisting of consultant surgeons and optometrists who are amongst the most experienced in the field of laser vision correction , having been involved in laser surgery since 1991.
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