In order to see well our eyes have to be healthy. This is true for everyone and not just those who are wearing corrective lenses. Our eyes, like the rest of the body, need vital nutrients and sustained care to function at a high level.
Here are five proactive steps you can take today to promote life-long eye health:
1. Ultraviolet Protection
• Many are aware that UV rays harm our skin but they can also damage our eyes!
• Long term UV exposure can lead to cataract formation and damage to the retina.
• Wear quality sunglasses that offer 100% UVA/UVB protection outdoors, even on cloudy days!
• This is especially important for teenagers and children to minimize long-term damage.
2. Safety Eyewear
• An eye injury can cause vision loss or even blindness. Most injuries can be prevented with the use of proper eye protection.
• Glasses that have UV and wrap around protection can help lessen injury from sources such as chemical splash, steam burns, metal or wood chips.
• Look for ANSI approved safety eyewear with a Z87 rating for the highest standard in eye protection
3. Lifestyle Choices
• Our lifestyle choices can have a big impact on slowing down birthday-induced changes to our eyes!
• Eat healthy. Choose foods rich in antioxidants like green leafy vegetables and fish which provide essential vitamins and nutrients that slow development of eye diseases:
• Lutein and Zeaxanthin
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Essential Fatty acids
• Don’t smoke: smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration and early onset cataracts.
• Exercise improves blood circulation, increases oxygen levels, and has also been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
• Pay attention to your blood pressure – hypertension or high blood pressure can cause vision loss due to leaky vessels.
• Make an effort to reduce cholesterol levels- high cholesterol can lead to sudden blindness caused by a condition called retinal vein or artery occlusion.
4. Yearly Eye Exams
• Comprehensive eye exams include not only a vision test but an thorough eye health evaluation.
• Many eye and vision related problems have no clear warning signs or obvious symptoms. Early diagnosis is key to treatment and maintaining eye health.
• Know your family eye health history. Many eye diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma can be hereditary.
• Children should have their first eye exam between 6 months and 1 year. Then eye exams are recommended at ages 3, 5, and every year during school age.
5. Computer Eye Strain
• Over 50% of computer workers experience eye strain or other visual problems.
• LED screens emit high energy blue light that has been linked to sleep cycle disruption and macular degeneration.
• Make workplace adjustments to maintain proper posture and avoid glare.
• Take breaks from your computer, every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
• Computer glasses, especially with blue light filtering can help relieve stress on your eyes.