How often have you heard someone say “Out of Sight, Out of Mind”? This especially applies to situations we don’t want to deal with, and try to avoid as long as we possibly can, such as cleaning the garage, doing yard work, or making that long overdue doctor’s appointment. There is no better time than during “National Save Your Vision Month” to schedule your annual eye exam.
Check-ups are more important than you think! Did you know that your optometrist can detect some diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes during a comprehensive dilated eye exam? In addition, many common eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration often don’t have any warning signs. However, early detection and treatment can help keep them at bay. Our eyesight is one of our most prized possessions and it is vital to take good care of it at any age, but especially as we get older.
Here are some helpful, yet simple tips to keep your eyes healthy:
Family history of eye diseases: Speak to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition since many are hereditary. This helps you to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.
Eat your greens: We all know by now that carrots are good for our eyes thanks to its vitamin A content among other beneficial nutrients. Add to this a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens and you’ll keep your eyes healthy. Plus eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut, has shown to be important for proper visual development and retinal function.
Don’t smoke: There are no buts about it: Smoking is bad for your eyes and for the rest of your body. – Period. Research linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
Wear your shades: Aside from being a great fashion accessory, sunglasses’ main objective is to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays – no matter the season. Make sure that your shades block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.
Practice safety first: No matter if at work or in your leisure time. If your job requires you to wear protective eyewear make it a habit of wearing it. The same applies when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Safety goggles or shields are specifically designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity.
Give your eyes a break from digital devices: Nowadays, we spend a lot of time on the computer, staring at our cell phone, tablet or watching TV. By focusing on any one thing we sometimes forget to blink and our eyes can get dry and fatigued, therefore make the effort to blink often. Try practicing the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at something about 20 feet away. This will help reduce eyestrain.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep your eyes healthy if you follow the guidelines above. Nothing substitutes the annual comprehensive eye exam and it will be worth your while to have peace of mind for another year.Mar 17, 2020