Protecting your eyesight is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. With a little tender loving care, you can enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision. Here are a few simple things you can do to help protect and preserve your eye sight:
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Your lifestyle has a big impact on your health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the most effective way to maintain and preserve healthy vision.
What you eat can help keep your eyes healthy. Research suggests that a diet rich in nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C and E plays a big part in preventing age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. You can get these nutrients from green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens; oily fish like tuna and salmon; and a wide range of other foods including citrus fruits and berries, nuts, eggs, broccoli and Brussel Sprouts.
Eating a healthy, well balanced diet, along with exercise, will also help you maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes, a leading cause of vision loss in adults.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to keep your eyes healthy. Besides the damage smoking does to your heart and lungs, research has linked cigarette smoking to an increased risk of developing optic nerve damage, accelerating age-related macular degeneration and getting cataracts.
Other eye issues that can be made worse by smoking include:
- Dry eye: Eyes are more likely to feel scratchy, sting and burn if you smoke with dry eye.
- Diabetic retinopathy: If you have diabetes and smoke, you have an increased risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in the eye.
- Uveitis: Smoking can lead to this disease, which causes the uvea — the middle layer of the eye wall — to become inflamed, red and painful.
Schedule Regular Comprehensive Exams to Keep Eyes Healthy
Regular eye exams are critical to maintaining healthy eyes. Depending on your age and health, you should schedule an eye exam every 1 – 2 years.
In addition to determining if you need glasses or need to change your current glasses, your eye care professional will also look for signs of injury, disease or abnormality. Eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can be diagnosed and treated in their earliest stages. An eye exam can also be used to assess your risk for developing serious non-vision related medical conditions like stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain tumors, aneurysms, and multiple sclerosis.
If you experience pain, inflammation, floaters, blurry vision, double vision, tearing or watering eyes, schedule an appointment with a Berkeley Eye Center doctor right away.
Protect Your Eyes
Take steps to protect your eyes from damage or injury. When you’re outdoors, always wear sunshades. In addition to making a fashion statement, sun glasses help protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. You should choose a pair of shades that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Over exposure to UV radiation can increase your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Wear appropriate eye protection while playing sports.
Safety glasses or protective goggles are a simple, effective way to protect your eyes from injury that can occur in the home and workplace, such as flying debris thrown up by power tools or being splattered by dangerous liquids.
Take a Blink Break from Your Computer
Staring at a computer or smartphone screen for long periods of time can make your eyes sore. Eyestrain, dry eyes, headaches, and blurry vision, along with neck, back, and shoulder pain are just a few of the symptoms of computer screen related vision fatigue.
Your eyes normally blink at a rate of about 20 times a minute. Blinking spreads tears over the front of the eye, keeping them moist. Research has revealed that this rate is cut in half when you’re focusing on a computer screen. This can result in the cornea becoming dry and irritated.
Giving your eyes a rest is a good way to relieve computer-related fatigue. When you use a computer screen, take a break every 15 – 20 minutes and look away from the screen. Focus on an area about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Your eyes will relax and begin blinking at their normal rate. Other ways to prevent eye strain include adjusting the screen’s brightness and contrast, using an anti-glare screen, using a smaller laptop screen instead of a larger desk-top screen and positioning your computer at eye level.
Berkeley Eye Center: Keeping Eyes Healthy for Over 60 Years
Are you overdue for an eye exam? For over 60 years, Houston area residents have trusted their vision health to the Houston eye care professionals at the Berkeley Eye Center. We are committed to providing our patients with the most comprehensive treatment options available. With affordable prices and many convenient neighborhood locations (as well as locations outside the Houston area), there’s no reason not to get your vision checked.
If you have developed trouble with your vision, haven’t had an eye exam in a while or have just moved to the area, we encourage you to call us to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding Houston eye doctors.