May is Healthy Vision month, and we’d like to share our tips on how you can maintain healthy eyes and vision. As people get older, the risk for vision loss from eye diseases increases, and even younger people can be susceptible to vision loss due to diabetes, but there are some things you can do to protect your eye health and vision.
Learn about your family health history.
Some eye diseases can have a genetic component, such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts, so that is important information to learn and share with your eye doctor, because you may at increased risk of developing those diseases. The next time you’re around extended family, ask them if there’s a history of eye disease such as cataracts, or glaucoma, or macular degeneration.
Get proper and adequate nutrition.
Your diet is an important part of maintaining healthy eyes and vision. Eat plenty of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables! This can help you keep your eyes healthy. According to the American Optometric Association, researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, to reducing the risk of certain serious eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. You can find these antioxidants in green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and a lot of other foods.
Get regular exercise.
Regular exercise has so many positive benefits for your physical and mental health, and the eyes are no exception! Did you know that many eye diseases are related to high blood pressure and diabetes? Exercising at least 3 – 4 times each week can help.
Protect your eyes from the sun.
May is typically a beautiful month to spend more time outside with nicer weather and more daylight, but remember, the UV rays from the sun can be harmful to your eyes. It’s important to consistently protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing quality sunglasses that block 100% of both UV-A and UV-B rays. Ask us about our options for quality sunglasses! Everyone should wear them to protect their eyes, including adults, children, and babies. Consider also wearing a wide-brimmed hat to give your eyes even more protection from the UV rays generated by the sun.
Smoking is bad for your entire body, and your eyes are no exception. It can lead to an increased risk for glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts, and if you have dry eye disease, smoking can make your symptoms even worse. If you smoke, work on a plan to get rid of this habit for good.
Wear protective eyewear when appropriate.
If you work in a manufacturing environment, you may be required to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from injury. Be sure to follow your employer’s guidelines and consistently wear those safety glasses. If you work in front of screens all day, it may be helpful to wear computer glasses which can help block blue light and reduce symptoms of digital eye strain. When you’re playing sports, doing yard work or chores around the house, don’t skip out on wearing the proper eye protection.
Pay attention to changes in your vision.
If you notice changes in your vision along with red eyes, eye pain, flashes of light, or an increase in the number of eye floaters, don’t hesitate to contact us right away, as these can be signs of serious eye problems which require attention.
Get regular comprehensive eye exams.
Even if you feel your vision is fine, there are many different eye diseases and conditions which have little to no symptoms in the early stages, and the only way to catch them early is through a comprehensive eye exam. One of the best things you can do to protect your healthy eyes and vision is to maintain a regular schedule of getting comprehensive eye exams and eye health care.
We help all members of your family maintain health eyes and vision.
If it’s been a while since your last comprehensive eye exam, please schedule an appointment with us. Many eye diseases and conditions have little to no symptoms in the early stages, so even if you feel your vision is fine, coming in for regular eye exams is an important part of maintaining your vision.