Our eyes hardly have a break during the day. They are exposed to many stresses and strains: from screen light at work, the constant glance at the smartphone or poor vision through outdated glasses. We often only notice how much our eyes can do when our vision deteriorates. In the long run, this causes tension, headaches and tiredness. So it is all the more important to protect our visual organ.
What influences our eyesight?
The environment has the greatest influence on the health of our eyes: this includes pollution, exhaust fumes and dry ambient air. In addition to external factors, however, one of the main causes of impaired vision is the heavy daily strain on the eyes. The five most common causes of irritated or damaged eyes are:
1. Exhaust fumes
The air is full of car exhaust fumes. The fine dust and dirt particles attack the eye. This wetting disorder can cause the tear film to tear over time. The tear fluid is insufficient or no longer ideally composed to moisten the eye sufficiently. The result: dry, reddened eyes.
2. Cigarette smoke
Besides car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke is also unhealthy for the eyes. It attacks the tear film and makes the eyes dry quickly.
3. Heating air and air conditioning
Dry air makes for dry eyes. Especially if you sleep with the heating on or turn up the air conditioning in summer, you get burning and tired eyes.
4. Television and screen work
Staring too long at the screen or the flicker box irritates your eyes. This is because we tend to blink much less and literally go into a state of "rigidity". The tear fluid becomes thin: it is then no longer sufficient to keep the eye moist.
5. Ignore defective vision
Whether short-sighted or long-sighted, defective vision is a strain on the eyes. Anyone who cannot see properly presses their eyes together to a few millimetres, strains them and, in addition, gets too close to the screen or television. So if you do not treat your vision properly or not treat it at all, you run the risk of secondary diseases and other problems. In addition, short- or far-sightedness can also get worse.
On the other hand, glaucoma-related vision problems often go unnoticed: people notice that they cannot see well at dusk or in the dark. Vision also decreases with age. This can be cataracts. This is characterised by blurred vision and reading. In all cases it is advisable to seek professional advice.
How to recognise weakened vision
Apart from dry eyes, weakened vision can also be recognised by other factors that are not always clear. They range from dizziness to stiffness in the neck to headaches. Clear symptoms can be blurred vision, "stargazing" or blurred vision.
If the signs are unclear, such as severe headaches, it is worth consulting your doctor. There are countless types of headaches. Tip: Keep an eye on your pain. If they radiate from the eye sockets, it is quite possible that you have some form of defective vision. Glasses can quickly work wonders for you.
If you feel dizzy, this can also be caused by your eyes. The cause is often incorrectly adjusted glasses. Although the sense of balance is in the ear, it is mainly the eyes that are responsible for balance. When your eyesight deteriorates, the brain receives confusing, contradictory information. This can manifest itself as dizziness, nausea and even cardiovascular problems.
But vision problems are not always the same. Overfatigue can also cloud your vision. Too little sleep, for example, means that you will see double images from time to time. In this case, you do not need to see a doctor: Then you should just get a good night's sleep.
Ametropia is both cause and symptom. You can recognise myopia by squinting your eyes in front of a computer or by not being able to read street signs from a distance. Far-sightedness can be recognised by the fact that you can read the writing in the book better if you hold it further away.
If you notice any symptoms, you should make an appointment with your ophthalmologist.
How to keep your eyes fit and healthy
1. Ventilate regularly and go outside
It's as simple as it sounds: open the window more often if you're sitting in a room for a longer period of time. Bad air is full of dust and bacteria: It makes you tired and in the long run even sick. Fresh air purifies and also has an invigorating effect.
Blinking with your eyes is not as natural as you might think. In front of the screen or television we often forget this. Our eyes look from A to B, but we still don't blink.
Our tip: Try to deliberately blink your eyes, it keeps them moist and provides them with the necessary tear fluid. Your eyes will thank you for it and so will your eyesight.
3. Drink enough and eat a balanced diet
Drinking lots of water is healthy - for the eyes too. 2 to 3 litres per day are important to provide your body and eyes with sufficient moisture.
Make sure you eat lots of colourful vegetables: carrots and sweet potatoes, with their beta-carotene, are the suppliers par excellence for strong vision. Arugula, kale and spinach also keep your eyes fit. When fried in a little fat, your body produces vitamin A from beta-carotene. This is responsible for your eyes being able to distinguish light from dark. A balanced diet also has an effect on your well-being.
Three tips for relaxed eyes in everyday life
If the eyes are particularly stressed, it is all the more important to relax them in between. We will explain how:
1. Consciously take breaks
Whether on a long journey or sitting in front of the screen for hours - take short breaks. Your brain and eyes can use this relief. Move around, get out into the fresh air, take a breath. Close your eyes for 30 seconds and relax.
2. Look away purposefully
Eye exercises are particularly beneficial for everyday office life. If you look at the screen for a long time, you not only forget to blink regularly, but also stiffen your eyes. So look into the distance more often: look for a specific area at least 2 metres away. Walk back and forth with your eyes and blink consciously again.
3. Relaxed eyes - relaxed soul
The eyes are very overstrained and looking into the distance does not help anymore: Take a short moment and close your eyes. Rub your hands together and warm them up. Then place your hands on your closed eyes, creating an artificial darkness that is relaxing and the warmth makes it more comfortable. Hold your hands on your closed eyelids for about half a minute. Count 10 deep breaths in and out. This not only brings peace to the eyes, but also relaxes body and mind.
An extra tip for those who work a lot on the screen: set up eye protection mode or reduce the brightness. For spectacle wearers, it is worth having a blue light filter fitted. All this protects your eye health.
Support for your eyesight - vital substances
In order to support your eye health even more intensively, valuable food supplements can be an optimal support. Vitamin A is particularly important for maintaining your eyesight. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin and, as a fat-soluble vitamin, is better absorbed by the body with the help of valuable oils (better bioavailability), which is why vitamin A (high-dose retinol) is dissolved in high-quality olive oil. The preparation is supplemented with rosemary extract. As drops, they are particularly practical: simply add them to food or put them directly on the tongue. They can be dosed perfectly with a pipette.
Vital substances such as vitamin B2 and zinc support a normal immune system and an optimal energy metabolism as well as your eyesight.
In order to keep the overview, it is important that you pay attention to the signs. Avoid spending too much time on the display, whether it's the smartphone or other devices. Give your eyes a break from time to time. Healthy eyes prevent countless everyday ailments such as headaches and neck pain, and also improve your quality of life.
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Picture: istockphoto / Deagreez