It is often said that our eyes are the windows to our soul. Cliché as it may sound, it is indeed true that beautiful eyes are much sought after. However, we often neglect taking good care of our eyes, only to regret when symptoms of eyesight deterioration set in.
In fact, myopia is the most common eye disorder worldwide and there is a worrying increase in myopia rates in children in developed countries.
Myopia, also known as near-sightedness or short-sightedness, is when you have poor distance vision. In other words, you can see clearly when objects are nearby but things get blurry further away.
While there is no way to reverse myopia unless you undergo surgery, here are some recommended suggestions by eyecare specialists that we hope can help to improve your myopia.
Spend More Time Outdoors And Expose Your Eyes To Sunlight
Aren’t we all guilty of spending hours in front of our computers or being absorbed with our mobile phones in the comfort of an air-conditioned room?
Truth is, do you know that researchers have found that spending at least 60mins of outdoor time daily has a positive effect in slowing down myopia?
There are several notable studies that show little time spent outdoors may have contributed to the rise of short-sightedness in children. Yup, increasing exposure to outdoor lightis the key! The main reason for this is that dopamine is released and that reduces myopia.
So, it is time to change your lifestyle if you want improve myopia. Instead of playing games in your leisure time, get the sunblock out and head to the park or the beach for some fun. You can get some exercise at the same time!
Choose The Right Lenses
People with myopia also have to remember to take care of the overall health of the eyes and choosing the correct lens is more important than what we like to think.
Wearing badly scratched lenses may worsen the condition for people who are already short-sighted because you need to strain your eye muscles to see better. Seriously, why stinge on the money and live your life like you are in a constant haze? The world is so colourful and we should see every moment clearly!
A smart choice will be to choose Hard Multi-Coated (HMC) Lens. Compared to normal ones, hard lenses prevent scratches and give wearers a clearer, more relaxed vision.
Another important factor when choosing lenses is UV filter. We all know the importance of applying sunblock, but why do we forget eye protection? If UV radiation can make your skin age, imagine what damage it can do to your eyes.
A must-have with any lens is effective protection against harmful UV rays, for example the Kodak UVBlue Lens. This particular lens is so popular with customers because it blocks out 99% of damaging UV rays while regular ones only filter out 70%. Yes, that is an impressive amount of protection!
Not only UV protection, the Kodak UVBlue Lens can also reduce exposure to high-energy blue light. This harmful blue light is mostly emitted from digital devices and can cause eyestrain, eye fatigue, headaches and drowsiness. Most of our daily life is intertwined with digital devices and it is rather impossible to avoid using them. Fortunately, the Kodak UVBlue Lens is here to the rescue.
Taking good care of your eyes is an all-rounded approach. Giving your eyes the best support is especially important for those with rapidly progressing myopia.
Let Your Eyes Take A Break From Near Work
Most of us are familiar with good hygiene habits so why don’t we emphasise good eyecare habits from young?
Yes, we understand that you may be rushing deadlines or mugging for the exams. But, it is crucial to set intermittent break times when working on the computer, studying or playing games on mobile phones for a prolonged period of time. This is because staring at objects at close proximity for long will cause harmful symptoms such as eyestrain, dry eyes, blurred vision and eye fatigue.
You may think these eye symptoms are trivial but an accumulation of bad eye habits will deteriorate eye health and worsen myopia. Prevention is better (and easier) than cure!
Take regular breaks (of around 30 – 40 minutes interval) and look into the far distance, or you can also close your eyes for a few minutes. If possible, take a short walk around your room and look out into the skies or the greenery, so to shift the focus of your eyes.
When reading, watching TV programmes or using the computer, also remember to ensure that the object is placed at a suitable distance away.
Extra tip: Remember to adjust the room for adequate lighting and to control glare using curtains or window tints. Also, balance the brightness of the computer screen with that of the room.
Food For The Eyes
We are sure that you have heard of many old wives’ tales of certain food being able to give you sparkly and healthy eyes, such as carrots, fish and goji berries. And, there is actually certain truth to this!
Based on nutritional science, foods that are high inomega-3 fatty acids, lutein, beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamins A, C & E are beneficial for our vision. Some great examples of food that are good for the eyes include deep-water fish (particularly salmon), eggs, dairy products, carrots (yes our grandma is correct!) and leafy vegetables.
Including these foods in our diet will not cure myopia but they are recommended by eyecare experts to improve visual healthand keep your eyes strong.
Relaxing Eye Exercises
We have said this many times – habitual tension and straining of the eye muscles may lead to various eye disorders. Some eyecare practitioners and online sources encourage eye exercises as a way to improve short-sightedness. Although there is no medical claim to support eye exercises, they are of no harm and they do indeed benefit your eyes by helping to release tension.
Some popular eye exercises include focus change, palming (place warm palms over your eyes) and eye movement or rotation routines. You can also try using the popular warm eye masks to relax your eyes.
Use Topical Atropine Eye Drops
This is quite a new medication and many of you have probably not heard of it.
In a five-year clinical trial which began in 2006, researchers at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) and Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) demonstrated the encouraging results of low-dose (0.01%) atropine.
Basically, this atropine eye drop is shown to be effective in slowing down myopia progression by 50-60% with little side effects and it works by relaxing the eyes’ focusing mechanism.
Caution: Take note that topical atropine eye drops can only be prescribed to myopic sufferers by ophthalmologists so that they can check suitability and provide advice on how to use it in a safe and effective way. Please do not take the risk and buy the atropine eye drops from unauthorised sources.
Of course, this is not a miracle drug that works its magic like a flick of a wand. It is still very important that you continue good eyecare habits even while on atropine treatment!
We hope that these tips can help you along the journey of improving myopia, be it for your child or for yourself. Nonetheless, the best solution to myopia is to detect short-sightedness during early childhood. Often overlooked, it is important that you schedule regular eye examinations just like regular dental appointments.
Are there any other myopia tips that you want to recommend? Share them in the comments below!