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Tuesday Tips- Eye Care

As a diabetic and a person over the age of 55, I have a good chance of losing my sight eventually either to diabetic retinopathy or macular deterioration. Neither of which sounds pleasant.

I already have some visual impairment- enough so that I need to wear glasses full time. My left eye is failing a bit quicker than my right one. I am overdue getting my left lens switched out but Covid-19 started Quarantine within a week of my replacement lens being ordered so I have no idea if it is even available yet.

I am a heavy reader and spend a great deal of time staring at a computer screen in one form or another, (phone, tablet, desktop). Losing my sight is not something that sits well with me.

The first tip I have for you is called the 20-20-20 rule. Look 20 feet away from the screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. Additionally, blink 20 times during that 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break and the blinking helps refresh your eyes. I knew this but have not considered doing it but now I think I need to at least try until I can get to the lens place.

Something else I was NOT aware of is that you are supposed to sit a distance of 5x the width of your screen when doing a movie marathon. I have a tendency to get within a foot of my 24" screen especially when I am really interested in the story. I can't really sit 10' from my computer on a regular basis without some definite rearranging of furniture but I can & do when I am cooking or sewing which is when I am usually watching a movie.

Eating carrots for healthy eyes is not an old wives tale! Eating food containing vitamin C or antioxidant like lutein and beta-carotene can help reduce the chance of macular degeneration. That's a fancy way of saying eat your fruits & vegetables in the red & orange spectrum to keep from going blind.

Get annual eye exams to keep track of your eye health. Over 55 then it is imperative that you make time for that. OHIP will pay for one annual eye exam every year so there is no excuse not to.

You know how we used to make fun of people wearing sunglasses after dark? Well, it turns out that they had the right idea. If you can get sunglasses that block out 100% of the UVA and UVB rays. Wearing sunglasses even when it is not bright out will help you avoid a whole host of eye problems- cataracts, macular degeneration, eyelid cancer and corneal sunburn.

Macular degeneration is something we all face as we get older. Our eyes get weaker the longer we use them but if you do the things above your eyes will last you a long time.


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