Prolific writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful.” Life is full of so many beautiful things; moments that can’t be seen twice. That’s why it’s so important to take excellent care of your eyes and protect your vision! In this blog, we’ll share some eye care tips to help age-proof your vision in your daily life.
Tips On Protecting Your Eyes
Stay on Top of Your Health
One of the most crucial steps to take in protecting your sight is to keep up with your eye health. This entails monitoring your ocular health through routine and comprehensive eye exams. You should find an eye doctor who you trust and feel comfortable speaking openly and honestly about your health. They will partner with you in your eye health and wellness journey. If you ever have concerns about your eyes’ condition or vision, contact your doctor’s office as soon as possible. It’s always best to nip any problems in the bud. Action and prevention are key to maintaining great health.
During an eye exam, your eye doctor will review your medical history and get to know you. They will review your medical history and ask you questions about how you are feeling, and if you’ve been experiencing any changes in your vision. Your eye doctor will closely examine your eyes to:
- Check for common eye diseases and vision impairment (i.e. cataracts or astigmatism)
- Assess how well you can see at different distances
- Determine if you would benefit from prescription glasses or contact lenses
- Evaluate the overall health of your eyes
Depending on your age and condition, they will recommend that you schedule an exam on a certain basis. This varies from patient to patient.
Additionally, eye health starts at a young age. Kids usually will receive an eye screening at their school by a professionally trained vision screener. These are brief exams in which the screener will look for signs of potential vision issues. They’ll test your child’s eyesight by having them read an eye chart from a distance. But it’s important to remember that screenings should be used in conjunction with eye exams. Experts say eye screenings provide less than 4% of the information generated during a comprehensive eye exam. So make sure to bring your child in for their regular exams, and don’t wait to schedule an appointment if they’re experiencing any eye trouble.
Also, don’t forget: you alone have a powerful role in protecting your sight. Day-to-day activities and even Mother Nature (although we love her!) can do a number on your eyes, which is why we highly suggest investing in some protective eyewear. That would be your sunglasses, safety glasses, goggles, and possibly face shields.
Whenever you’re outside or driving, slip on those shades to block out the sun’s harmful UV rays. Sunglasses should be worn by everyone year-round, both on sunny and cloudy days because the UV light penetrates through the clouds. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can cause a number of eye problems such as:
- Corneal sunburn
- Macular degeneration
- Skin cancer around the eyelids
If you or your child play sports, you should look into buying sports goggles or glasses made with polycarbonate lenses. This is a durable material that protects the eyes from impact and fast-moving objects. And here’s a perk: polycarbonate has built-in UV protection!
Whether you’re doing chores or projects at home, or you work in a high-risk occupation (i.e. nursing, engineering, welding), you’ll also want to rock some PPE. Depending on the type of job you’re doing and what materials you’re handling, you should gear up accordingly. For example, if you’re sanding wood, get those goggles on to shield your eyes from airborne dust and debris. Goggles should fit closely and comfortably on your face, forming a seal around the eyes. The bridge should sit flush with the bridge of your nose. Just think: bridge to bridge.
Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Eyes
Building healthy habits and making some lifestyle changes can really benefit your eyes and your overall health. To start, let’s discuss food. Your diet has a direct impact on your ocular health. There is proof that eating high amounts of saturated fat and sugars may increase one’s risk of developing eye diseases (i.e. macular degeneration and cataracts). So we recommend eating nutrient-rich foods. Antioxidants, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein are all known to promote good eyesight. Load up on leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains.
Maintaining a healthy weight is another critical step in caring for your eyes (who would have thought?). Individuals who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of developing eye diseases including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and wet macular degeneration. But the next point goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a healthy weight: strive to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Exercise improves your blood flow to your eyes and lowers your intraocular pressure. It may also help prevent an overgrowth of blood vessels which occurs in conditions like neovascular glaucoma.
Also, if you smoke cigarettes, you may want to consider quitting. The toxins in cigarettes can cause you to develop serious eye disorders that can cause vision loss or blindness like Wet Macular Degeneration.
Take Screen Breaks
In our digital world, breaks are especially important. Whether you’re working on your laptop, looking at your phone, or playing video games, it’s a good idea to use the 20-20-20 rule. This means every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is to refresh your eyes. Looking at digital screens for long periods can cause eye strain and damage over time. So remember the rule!
Know Your History
You should learn about your family’s history in general. But knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor watch out for certain problems. Having that knowledge may offer a clue in to your personal risk factors and overall health.
Want More Eye Health Tips? Check Out Our Other Blog Posts!
We here at Vistar Eye Center love sharing advice on how to take care of your vision. You can find all sorts of different articles here on our site.