They say, “The eyes never lie”. Our eyes can reveal how we feel inside and how we feel about something in general. They allow us to see things that bring us joy – happy faces of our loved ones, picturesque places, and a variety of bright colors that lift up our spirit.

eye health

However, many people take the sense of sight for granted. How, then, can we show that we value this amazing gift? One way is by taking good care of it. How so? Of course, by not abusing them and addressing any problems that may come up. In this article we discuss helpful information about how we can keep our eyes healthy, different kinds of eye problems, and eye doctors. To schedule an eye exam contact optometrist St. Louis

Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Yes, our eyes need maintenance, too. The following are practical ways to keep them as healthy as we want them to be:

  • Eat healthy. Our eyes need good nutrition to be in a healthy state. So eat healthy. Carrots may be most popular food when it comes to good vision. But there are also other foods that can bring benefits to your eye health such as spinach and other leafy green vegetables, egg yolks, red grapes, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are good for your eyes, too. These foods contain important nutrients for your eye health.
  • Live well. Aside from diet, lifestyle can also affect our eye health. Everyday Health noted, “Smoking has been directly linked to two of the leading causes of vision loss, cataracts and macular degeneration. In fact, researchers believe smoking also causes or contributes to a number of other eye health problems”. So if you want to avoid eye problems, you know what to do with the habit.
  • Take breaks when looking at the computer screen. We sometimes forget that spending too much time looking at the computer screen can cause strain and dryness to our eyes. It is recommended that every 20 minutes, you should look away from the screen and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Your screen should also be at eye level.
  • Visit an eye doctor regularly. How often should you visit an eye doctor? It actually depends on your age, family history, and medical history. If you are below 30 years old, you may visit an eye doctor once every 5 years if you experience no eye problem. But if you are 40 years of age or older, it would be best to see an eye doctor every 2 years. Of course, if you have a family history or medical history of an eye problem or disease, you must visit your doctor every year, or as recommended by your doctor. However, if you feel any symptoms of eye problems, you should take time to see an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Most Common Eye Problems

There are several types of eye problems. In this article, we will discuss a few:

  • Eye strain. Any part of the body that is overworked and used for prolonged period can suffer strain. It is also true with our eyes. Looking at a computer screen or any gadget for hours can cause eye strain. If you have noticed that your eyes have become dry and tired, do not hesitate to take a break, and let your eyes rest for a while.
  • Dry eyes. Our eyes are designed to be sufficiently lubricated. This happens when our eyes are not able to produce enough tears. Now we know why tears is so important – for lubrication and cleansing of our eyes. When a person has dry eyes, he feels a burning sensation and pain in his eyes. Thus, treatments include eye drops that work like tears called “artificial tears”, testosterone eyelid cream, and some special eye drops to stimulate tear production if eye dryness is in chronic condition.
  • Glaucoma. This usually involves a higher than normal pressured inside the eyes. When the pressure is increased, it can cause vision problems. This is also a “silent” type of eye problem, since it is usually painless and has no symptoms in its early stages. Blurry vision and other symptoms appear during the later stage, when the damage has become irreversible, and eventually leads to vision loss. But it is still possible to detect glaucoma in its early stage through routine eye check-up. Once detected by the eye doctor, treatments include eye drops that can lower the increased pressure, medications, or in severe cases, surgery.
  • Red eyes. Most people have experienced this condition at least once in their lifetime. What causes red eye? Irritations and infections can cause the blood vessels in your eye to expand. Irritations are usually brought about by eye strain, injuries or allergies in the eye. It would be best to see an eye doctor if the red eye is persistent and does not disappear after applying eye drops. Also, injuries need attention by a medical professional.

Ophthalmologist or Optometrist?

People are usually confused about eye doctors. We heard that ophthalmologists and optometrists are eye experts. But, whose help and medical advice do we seek when we have eye problems? Let’s get to know them more:

  • Ophthalmologist. They are medical doctors or physicians who have completed college and years of additional training in this field. They are also licensed to practice surgery. Thus, when you have a medical concern, such as glaucoma, cataract, and other medical-related problems, you should see an ophthalmologist.
  • Optometrist. They have studied at least three years at a university and have undergone years of training in this field. Thus, we can say that they are knowledgeable and skilled health professionals. Some common eye problems that do not need surgery such as red eyes can be handled by an optometrist.

Both ophthalmologists and optometrists are trained and qualified to perform routine exams and can manage your eye problems. But when surgery is needed, you will most likely be referred to an ophthalmologist.

In conclusion, we need to do our best to keep our eyes healthy if we want to enjoy life. If we follow these tips, be vigilant in observing early symptoms of eye problems, and regularly visit our eye doctors, as mentioned above, we can be sure that when others see us eye to eye, our eyes will “never lie”.