eye-healthThe health of your eyes is critical to your overall health and quality of life. While some eye diseases can’t be entirely prevented, basic eye care practices can help ward off problems and help you maintain healthy eyes well into your golden years. It’s never too late to break a habit or change a routine. Here are 5 tips for maintaining good eyesight.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Everyone, including young children, needs regular eye exams. These exams help protect your sight and catch eye diseases that lead to vision loss if left untreated. Early detection and treatment reduce the likelihood of vision loss.

A comprehensive eye exam might include:

  • A review of your personal and family medical history
  • Tests to determine how well your eyes work together
  • Vision tests to see if you’re farsighted or shortsighted
  • Eye pressure and optic nerve tests
  • Dilated eye exam to check optic nerve and retina

If you have a family history or symptoms of eye disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you may need frequent appointments with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Eat Right

Your eyes need certain nutrients to maintain maximum efficacy. Vitamins C and E and nutrients like zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein might help ward off vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. Fill your plate with:

  • Oily fish like salmon, halibut, and tuna
  • Eggs, beans, nuts, and other non-meat protein sources
  • Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collards
  • Oysters and pork
  • Citrus fruits or juices

Maintain Your Overall Health

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. These health conditions put you at risk of getting glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly helps prevent vision problems and remain healthier overall.

It’s also important to avoid smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke as it can lead to increased risk for macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Wear Sunglasses and Protective Eyewear

Exposure to UV rays can damage your eyes and raise your risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, ad solar retinitis. When you’re out in the sun, use sunglasses that block 99% to 100% UVA and UVB rays.

If you work with hazardous or airborne materials, wear protective google or safety glasses to prevent eye injuries. Also, wear eye protection when playing sports like lacrosse, hockey, and racquetball.

Take Frequent Screen Breaks

Staring at a phone or computer screen for too long can cause blurry vision, eyestrain, dry eyes, headaches, and trouble focusing at a distance. To protect your eyes, try the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. Choose a comfortable chair and make sure your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. Try to avoid glare from lights and windows and remember to blink more if your eyes are dry.

Being actively involved in your eye health and regularly visiting your eye doctor increases your chances of maintaining good eye health throughout your life. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about eye care and get your annual comprehensive eye exam.