Eye health: Keep healthy eyes for a long time with 6 effective tips

Eyes are the mirror of our soul and at the same time our windows to the world. With increasing age, but also due to long working hours at the computer, our important sensory organ loses its strength - so we see less and less. What can we do to keep healthy eyes for as long as possible? Read the six most effective tips for your eye health here. 

Where would we be without our eyes? This sensory organ shows us the world around us and lets us participate in it. We make many decisions with our eyes: red or white dress, big or small car, cream cake or rather a marzipan cake. However, many factors can have a negative influence on our eyesight: Sooner or later, one in three of us will get glasses. According to data from the Federal Statistical Office about 30 percent of Germans wear glasses all the time and 25 percent occasionally use a visual aid.

There are various reasons for this development. Prolonged work at the computer, poor diet, but also age-related changes play a major role. With increasing age, the retina changes and the blood flow in the eye slowly decreases. These problems cannot be improved or solved by special eye exercises alone. However, there are things you can do to keep your eyes healthy for a long time. We present six simple but effective tips.

1. Enjoy nature - air your eyes

The tip sounds simple and easy, but it is often not implemented in everyday life. Go out into nature. Whether it's the city park around the corner, the forest a few towns away or an avenue of plane trees on the way to work. Such a walk does not have to take long. It's enough if you go for a short walk every day.

When you are outdoors, let your eyes decide where to look and for how long. The colours of nature calm our sense organ, their interplay trains the eye muscles. The eyes open and fill with oxygen. It may happen that tears come to your eyes at the beginning. This is completely normal and is related to the adjustment your eyes have to go through after a period of time in a closed room. Several studies have also confirmed that children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to suffer from myopia in their adult lives. So get outside!

2. Carrot alone is no longer enough for healthy eyes

It used to be said that we should eat more carrots so that the eyes retain their strength even in old age. Carrots, as our great-grandparents already knew, contain a lot of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by our body. We need this in turn to produce fluid.

Two to three decades ago, it was still thought that the pigment in the macula - the place of sharpest vision on the retina - consisted of beta-carotene. In the meantime, research has gone one step further and knows: the pigment consists of lutein and zeaxanthin. Vegetables rich in lutein and thus necessary for the eyes are mainly green in colour: spinach, broccoli, rocket and kale are the best known. Nevertheless, carrots are healthy for the eyes and the whole organism.

3. Eye health in the workplace

What about eye health in the workplace? Staring at a computer or mobile phone screen for hours on end overtires our eyes. They often become dry, burn and can even cause headaches and back pain. Therefore, integrate breaks into your daily work routine. The rule of thumb is to look into the distance for 30 seconds every 30 minutes. Take a look out of your office window or simply in the hallway.

Pausen beim Arbeiten sind wichtig, um möglichst lange gesunde Augen zu behalten.

For those who often forget their breaks, break apps are recommended. These are installed on the computer or mobile phone. A window opens at regular intervals to remind you to take a break. You can either look into the distance for 30 seconds, as mentioned above, or simply close your eyes for a moment. If you work in air-conditioned rooms, you should also get out into the fresh air again and again.

4. Alcohol and smoking bad for the eyes?

Don't worry: with a glass of wine or a beer in the evening, vision is likely to remain unchanged. However, those who reach for large amounts of alcohol too often should be careful: Alcohol addicts not infrequently suffer from lens clouding due to cataracts. In addition, macular degeneration is increased in them. This is an eye disease that attacks the retina at the back of the eye, which can lead to a loss of vision.

Smoking also promotes eye diseases such as cataracts. Aggressive smoking can also cause inflammation. For the sake of your eyes, you should therefore think about smoking less.

5. Blinking against dry eyes

A person closes and opens his or her eyelids about every ten to 15 times. This is how nature has ensured that the cornea is regularly moistened with tear fluid, which in turn protects the eyes from drying out. Working at the computer for hours on end makes us "forget" to blink. We stare at the monitor and thus switch off the natural mechanism. The eyes begin to dry out. This leads to discomfort and even fatigue, including headaches.

For this reason, you should get into the habit of blinking! When you do this, consciously and firmly close your eyelids, wait a few seconds and open them again. If you often forget to do this in the course of your work, use a pause app like the one mentioned above.

6. Micronutrients for healthy eyes in old age

As we age, the fine structure of the retina - the layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and serves to perceive light stimuli - slowly deteriorates and vision declines. The main cause of this is the decreasing supply of micronutrients. Targeted support with important vitamins is therefore recommended. Vitamins of the B group play a particularly important role. If they are supplied in sufficient quantities, the risk of developing macular degeneration can be reduced.

Another important vitamin for healthy eyes is called vitamin C. A London study from 2016 concluded that a balanced diet with sufficient vitamin C can protect the lens of the eye. According to the researchers, vitamin C accumulates in the eye fluid and prevents the lens from clouding there.

Furthermore, a regular zinc intake is indispensable if you want to keep your eyes healthy for a long time. As an activator of numerous enzymes, the trace element is involved in many processes of the human body. If there is an undersupply, this can lead to changes in the lens of the eye, especially in older people.

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