Did you know your eyes are an important part of your overall health? And you can do to a lot of things to help keep them healthy and to ensure you are seeing your best.
Have routine comprehensive eye exams
Eye exams will help to detect common eye problems as well as determining if you could benefit from glasses or contacts. Additionally, many serious eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, or complications from diabetes don't have any warning signs and can only be detected during an exam. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.
Keep an eye on family history of eye health
Genetics play an important role in determining if you are at rist for eye diseases or conditions. Knowing your family's eye health history will let you know if you should bring up these concerns when meeting with your eye doctor.
You are what you eat
You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too.i Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
Watch you weight and what you eat
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, especially foods like kale, spinach, and other dark leafy greens can have a beneficial impact on your eye health. Additionally, eating these types of foods regularly and removing foods that are known to be unhealthy can lead to better overall health. Other foods that show benefits to both body and vision are foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, tuna, flax, walnuts and many more!
Wear protective eyewear
Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.
Stop smoking or better yet, never start
Research shows that smoking leads to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and even optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. Plus it's not good for the rest of your body, or those around you.
Shade your eyes
Sunglasses that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation will help shield your eyes from these damaging forms of ultraviolet radiation..
Take time out
Don't underestimate the power of a good break! When you are constantly using your eyes - straining at a computer, reading, etc., it's important to take frequent pauses to allow your eyes to relax and have some time to recover.