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Back-to-basics: Eye health

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Back-to-basics: Eye health – Live Great – Great Eastern Life

Good vision is important to conduct your daily living and also vital in the quality of life. Your eye succumbs to the aging process just like the rest of the body and is one of the first things to decline. But fret not! Here are some practical ways in which you can tremendously help keep your vision good and healthy.

  1. Don't strain your eyes
    Strain usually happens such as when reading or using the computer. Change your focus; look out a window when you're doing close work to give your eyes a break. Also make sure that there is proper and enough lighting when reading, at the computer or watching the television.

  2. Reduce alcohol intake
    Alcohol consumption has been associated with early macular degeneration. Studies also show that there is a 40% increase in macular degeneration if you have seven drinks of beer per week. Therefore, you should reduce alcohol and beer consumption.

  3. Quit smoking!
    The smoke from a cigarette contains more than 4,000s chemical that could have various damaging effects to the whole body including the eyes. An Australia-based study also estimated that up to 20% of blindness among elderly Australians aged 50 years or older was attributable to smoking. Smokers also have an increased risk of cataract and dry eyes.

  4. Get educated
    Getting information about the risk and early warning signs of eyes disease may help you take better care of your eyes. Most people would probably have heard of certain common eye diseases but do not know the important details or risk factors. Arming yourself with key information on eye health can facilitate early detection and treatment and ultimately save your vision.

  5. Go for eye check-ups
    An eye test just doesn't tell you how long or short sighted you are but it can reveal more. It is recommended that children should have their first eye exam at age three years and again at the start of school. Risk-free children should then continue to have their eyes examined every two years until age 18. It is recommended that normal healthy adults have a comprehensive eye examination every two years. After the age of 60 years, the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration is higher and as such warrants an annual checkup.

  6. Wear sunglasses when outdoors
    Always wear UV-protective sunglasses to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of sun rays when outdoors. UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or artificial UV rays, can damage the eye and the cumulative effects of spending long hours in the sun without adequate eye protection can increase the likelihood of developing eye disorders. Research shows that people with cataracts have a 21% higher average annual exposure to UV rays than those without cataracts.

  7. Lose those extra pounds
    Studies have shown that being obese can contribute to macular degeneration by starving the eyes of necessary nutrition. There's also an association between obesity and the risk of age-related cataracts. Fat tends to absorb nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, preventing them from reaching the eye.

  8. Exercise your eyes
    Do you spend your days staring at a computer screen? If you do, you probably know how draining and tiring it can be to your eyes. Just as people exercise their muscles to maintain health and physical fitness, regular exercise of the eyes is as important for visual fitness and to reduce eye fatigue. Exercise of the eyes can raise oxygen levels and improve circulation of blood and nutrients in and around the eyes. There are many different exercises you can do for your eyes, including moving them in clockwise and counterclockwise movements, holding an object at arm's length and moving it toward your nose until it goes out of focus, and moving your eyes in slow figure-eight movements.

Juice recipe for Healthy Eyes:

Combine 1 bottle Berry Clear, 1 scoop Acai Splash, 1 carrot, 2 slices of watermelon, some strawberries and 1 orange. Blend and drink.

This article has been published with permission and is courtesy of GNC LiveWell, Malaysia

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