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Wellness Wednesday: Eye See You

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Imagine a small part of your brain was squeezed out of your skull and remained there, right outside your brain cranium. Well, many eye specialists say that’s exactly what happened.

I was amazed and shocked the first time I heard about this view in science. Dr. John Dowling, a Professor of Ophthalmology, served as chairman of the Biology Department at Harvard from 1975 to 1978 and served as associate dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences from 1980 to 1984. He is the author of a book titled, “The Retina”, in which he refers to the eye as “an approachable part of the brain”.

It’s considered to be the only part of the brain that’s visible to the naked eye without any instruments and no wonder that some of the same foods that support brain health, also support eye health. Being attentive and proactive with the health care of your eyes can improve their conditions, and prevent visual impairment.

About 80% of vision problems around the globe are avoidable by proper treatment and good habits that bolster eye health. Some behaviors that promote eye health include blinking which properly lubricates your eyes, especially when spending extended amounts of time in front of computer and phone screens. Increased screen time over the years has morphed into a big challenge to maintaining eye health, and the prevalence of myopia has increased as a result of it. Myopia is a condition when close-up objects look clear but distant objects appear blurry. Less outdoor exposure has also been linked to Myopia’s increase.

To assist eye health while viewing screens, use the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds and focus on an object 20 feet away. 

Sunlight is a powerful and free way to maintain and improve eye health as well. In the morning for five to 15 minutes and as much as 30 minutes for people with more melanin is suggested by doctors. However, be sure to get specific advice from your eye doctor. There are potential harmful impacts of sunlight depending on where you are on the eye health spectrum, location in the world, age and other factors which may lead to different amounts of sunlight needed for your particular situation.

The eyes were once considered the second most complex part of your body, with the brain being the first. We now know that the eyes are considered a protruding part of your brain, making it the first and most complex part of your body.

With so many things clamoring for your eye’s attention like the metaverse, computer and phone screens, make sure you’re giving your eyes the attention it needs to be at their best.

 

Words by Kaba Abdul-Fattaah.

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