Romantic couple with glasses signifying the importance of proper eye care.

The eyes are one of the most important parts of your body—they allow you to see the world and are often seen as a “window into the soul.” We all know tired, puffy eyes can really make you look sickly and unhealthy; that’s why eye care is so important. OROGOLD Cosmetics examines some of the best tips to keeping your eyes as healthy as possible:

Eat well
Eating foods that contain antioxidants or nutrients such as lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin E has been linked to lowering risk of eye conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. Some of these foods include leafy greens, cold-water fish (i.e. salmon or tuna), dark pigment fruits, citrus, avocados, broccoli, nuts, eggs, and tea.

Reduce sun exposure
Protecting your eyes from the sun is just as important as protecting your skin. Ultraviolet rays increase the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Sunglasses should have 100% AVA and AVB protection. It is especially important children to wear sunglasses because 80% of your lifetime exposure to sun happens before you turn 18.

Use the 20-20-20 rule
When using electronic devices, we tend to blink less and put more strain on our eyes which can cause dry eyes or blurry vision over time. When in front of a screen, try to blink at least every 30 seconds. Furthermore, every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.

Woman breaking a cigarette after quitting smoking.

No smoking
Smoking is a huge risk factor to conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and it can cause optic nerve damage. Quitting smoking is essential to preserving the health of your eyes.

Take off your contacts and glasses
Sleeping in contact lenses can cut off the supply of oxygen to the eyes. Unless otherwise instructed, takeout your contacts each night before bed. Also, avoid wearing contacts while swimming because they can slip off or become uncomfortably dry. Glasses, too, should be taken off for extended periods of time to allow the eyes to rest.

Don’t read in the dark
Though reading in dim light has not yet been linked to increasing the possibility of any eye conditions, it can strain and tire your eyes. Invest in a portable reading light, or take a break if your eyes feel tired.

Avoid eye drops
Eye drops are a great way to immediately reduce red eyes or itchiness, but chronic use can end up making the original problem worse. Eye drops tend to work by constricting blood flow to the cornea and depriving the eye of oxygen. This makes your eyes feel less inflamed but is not necessarily good for the health of your eyes. As you use eye drops more, your eyes build up tolerance to them, as well, so they become less effective. Also, if you wear contacts, many eye drops should not be used with contacts in.

Beautiful woman applying cucumber on her eyes as a part of her eye care routine.

Use cucumbers
Putting cucumbers on your eyes may seem cliché, but there’s actually a pretty good reason why. Cold cucumbers on the eyelids ten minutes before bed can prevent puffiness in the morning because they contain ascorbic and caffeic acids which help prevent water retention. If you don’t have access to cucumbers, a green tea bag soaked in cold water can do the same.