CLOSE your eyes for a minute. How does it feel?
What can you do with your eyes shut? Could you really do your job if you couldn't see?
Can you do all the things you love to do, with no eye sight?
We forget how dependent we are on our eyes - we need them to work, to play sport, to drive, to see our loving partners and family and to read things like this article. Our sight is something many of us take for granted.
We too quickly forget that when our vision is compromised it can affect all aspects of our personal and professional lives.
Our age, genetics, medications, UV exposure and today's poor diets can all negatively impact on ocular health. The emergence of the digital era has also done our eyes no favours. Dehydration, oxidative stress and inflammation all compromise the microcirculatory system and are the three most common characteristics know to be affecting our vision.
Despite the doom and gloom of losing sight, there are many simple things we can do to preserve our eye health.
For a start, wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from damaging UV rays. For maximum protection make sure you get polarised lenses, however any sunglasses will be better than nothing.
Consuming plenty of fish oils will also help. Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in the structure and function of eye health and maintenance. Essential fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are critical components of the eyes - in fact large concentrations of DHA are found in the photoreceptors in the outer segments of the eye.
While there is an obvious structural function of fatty acids in the eyes, the greatest influence revolves around the anti-inflammatory properties of the omegas which help suppress the inflammatory response seen in many ocular conditions.
Carrots are famous for their influence on eyesight - just ask any rabbit. This is because of the high Vitamin A concentrations. Vitamin A is a key nutrient which aids in light adaptation and colour vision. Apricots, carrots, fish liver oils, egg yolks and green leafy vegetables are all great sources of Vitamin A.
The antioxidants and bioflavonoids found in berries are great free radical scavengers that go around mopping up the damage caused from oxidative stress.
The anthocyanosides found in Bilberries have a natural affinity for ocular and vascular tissues.
Many studies have shown that supplementing with Bilberry anthocyanosides significantly reduces ocular inflammation and improves ocular circulation, visual acuity and nocturnal vision. Bilberry supplements can be found easily at your local pharmacy or supermarket.
As simple as it sounds, drinking water will also help your eye health no end.
These days, most of us suffer from chronic dehydration as very few of us come close to drinking the required two to three litres of water per day. Drinking water is the single most effective way to reduce dry eye problems.
When you are dehydrated your blood thickens, making it harder for the blood to get into the micro capillaries in your eyes to deliver the nutrients required for eye health.
Looking after your eye health is simple.
Increase your antioxidants and your anti-inflammatory foods, drink more water and you're more than half way to improving the long term health of your eyes.
Don't wait until it's too late to do something about it - pop into your local optometrist and get your eyes checked today.