DOSSIER - Vision and Hygiene of Life
Food, sleep, alcohol, physical and professional activities … The Western way of life of the 21st century can sometimes seem limitless, and not without consequences. The way we live requires daily adjustments to reduce these sometimes unfortunate consequences for our body. As with our brains and muscles , all of our organs, including the eyes , are impacted by our lifestyles. Vision and lifestyle are closely linked. What alters our vision , or on the contrary, helps to preserve it? What can be the negative impacts of stress, lack of sleep, too much alcohol consumption? We answer them in this new file.
Vision and lifestyle: the 21st century or the era of eye fatigue.
As in many fields other than optics , it is interesting – although rather depressing – to note that our time is distinguished by its contradiction. Indeed, nowadays, we are fully aware that our way of life is in opposition to what we know of it.
Whether it is in our way of consuming , to work , to travel or to eat , we know that we are on the wrong track and know all too well the disastrous consequences that this entails. Well aware of the ravages of excessive alcohol consumption, we are consuming more and more. Obesity and diabetes are still on the rise, as is our time in front of screens.
And that's not all. According to the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), we sleep on average 1.5 hours less per night than fifty years ago! Lack of sleep , however, has a negative impact in the short term, on the day that follows, but also in the longer term, on the body.
For our eyes, it works of the same way. In the digital age and a globalization that has never reached such a level, it is urgent to sound the alarm. In France, more than 75% of the population works in the tertiary sector , devoting a good part of their days to screens.
This deteriorating lifestyle also causes damage to our eyes. Exposure to blue light , the stress of a busy life, the impression of chasing time, lack of physical activity or sleep and too rich a diet make our time a formidable enemy for our eyes. .
In fact, why focus on a healthier lifestyle?
Eye strain, headaches, stress, itchy eyes are all indicators that should not be taken lightly. Of course, in case of recurrence of these symptoms, we cannot recommend enough that you consult a specialist. On another scale, a reassessment of everyday actions should allow us to better protect our eyes.
And that often starts with a healthier and more varied diet . While it is not necessary to spread the dangerousness of meals too high in salt and fat, the idea is above all to favor beneficial foods that we may not necessarily be used to eating.
the vitamins provided by these foods all have their own characteristics and therefore their usefulness:
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene allow cones and sticks to work. It is present in carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, apricots, mango …
- Vitamin E helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is found in fatty plant products, such as nuts, soybeans, corn, vegetable oils …
- Vitamin C contains anti-oxidants and prevents the lens from becoming cloudy. It is mostly found in green vegetables.
- Zeaxanthin and lutein improve visual acuity in the eye . They are found in legumes and leafy vegetables.
The other danger of our food for our eyes certainly comes from the consumption of alcohol . In the short term, excessive alcohol consumption affects the nervous system and prevents information from being passed, resulting in reduced field of vision and the quality of sight . The blood vessels dilate and cause redness, the image becomes blurry because the retina is also damaged.
In the long term, the effects of alcohol can be very damaging. Aging cells cause dry eyes , degeneration and frequent irritation .
A stressful life
Stress , more than ever present in our time, is devastating for health. It is no less so for our eyesight. A healthy lifestyle also involves the search for a less stressful life. Under the effect of stress, the body sends out an adrenaline rush , causing the pupils to dilate . It is a natural reflex, which especially helps to see better when one is threatened.
Nowadays, this short and intense stress has turned into chronic stress . More subtle, but much longer, it still has the same effects. The pupils are more often dilated and allow more light to pass through, increasing sensitivity and causing visual fatigue , reduced vision quality , but also eyelid spasms and blurred vision.
Increased eye pressure is another of these effects. In the long term, this increase increases the risk of glaucoma . If there was a new reason to try to take stress out of your life, then this is a good one.
Visual training, good for the brain and the body
Having a better hygiene of life is beneficial for the vision . Our whole body, and therefore our eyes, need it. Sports and physical activity are an excellent way to help yourself to resolve certain problems mentioned above, such as stress, lack of sleep or a varied diet.
But the importance of visual training has grown in recent years. Today, a large number of athletes have realized that in addition to strength training, visual training can be of great benefit.
It is estimated that 80% of the information needed to the athlete come from the vision . Already very present in the United States and Canada, visual coaches have now made their appearance in France. In 2018, the French Rugby Team acquired it.
Speed, reflexes, visual training improves undeniable qualities for athletes, triggering a virtuous circle: a better performance and, therefore, increased desire and well-being, to finally reduce stress and fatigue, lack of sleep, depression, and harmful diet.
Unsurprisingly, a healthy lifestyle will only have benefits on vision . However, it must become a daily concern, because the damage of a life full of excess can be dramatic. It is more than urgent to worry about it, our eyes will thank us.