Vistar Insights

A Healthy Eyesight Checklist

Monday, June 01, 2015

We’ve all heard the rumors about carrots: they keep our eyes healthy.

But in reality, there’s much more to healthy eyes than just veggies. Many common habits can lead to poor eyesight later in life, and taking action now can prevent serious sight problems later. We’ve created a simple checklist of items, so that you can evaluate how your habits may affect your eye health.

1) Your Eyes Are What You Eat
You are what you eat – and so is your eyesight. Studies have proven that diets high in fat and sugar lead to early-onset macular degeneration. Stick to a diet that includes plenty of antioxidants, like those found in dark green leafy vegetables. It is also a good idea to take a daily B vitamin, if you don’t already.

2) Smoking
Smokers are four times more likely to develop macular degeneration as they age, and they’re also at an increased risk of developing cataracts. New Year’s resolutions aside, preserving your eyesight should be a great motivator to quit as soon as possible.

3) Regular Exams
If you’re 40 years old or younger, it’s appropriate to see your eye doctor once every two years. However, if you wear contacts, or have diabetes, we recommend that you visit more frequently. Not only can contact prescriptions change quickly (especially for those with astigmatism), but diabetes can cause changes in eyesight that should be closely evaluated.

4) Hydration
It’s estimated that 75% of Americans walk around every day chronically dehydrated. It’s true – water might not taste as exciting as a soda, but your eyes need to stay hydrated in order to function properly. Eight glasses a day is the recommended amount!

5) Exercise
Exercising regularly isn’t just for weight loss – it maintains a healthy blood pressure. Your eyes are completely surrounded by blood vessels, so when there are serious fluctuations in blood pressure, they take the hit. Try walking or jogging 30 minutes a day for 3 days a week.

6) Sun Protection
As spring is around the corner, we all get excited to do some poolside basking. Your eyes aren’t meant to sit in the sun, though – so invest in some quality shades, preferably those with ultraviolet protection.

Have other questions about eye health? Let us know!