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Your eye health might be something you don’t think about until it fails. Vision is a vital part of your day-to-day life and you should do all you can to protect it. Nine of the best ways to protect your vision and improve your eye health include:
Eye Care: Get Regular Eye Exams
Regular health checkups, even when everything seems okay, are an important part of maintaining good health. This is as true for your eyes as it is for any other part of your body.
Children and adults should visit their eye doctor for a routine eye exam at least once a year. This ensures that any developing eye problems or eye diseases (that might not cause symptoms yet) are caught and treated early.
Do Not Smoke or Quit Smoking
Most people know smoking affects their lung health, but it also plays a role in the health of your vision. If you smoke, an effective cessation program can help you break the habit and improve your overall health. If you don’t smoke, there’s no reason to begin doing so.
Your health begins to improve the moment you stop smoking. A significant amount of the damage caused by smoking begins to heal within a few hours of your last cigarette.
With each smoke-free day, inflammation and blood vessel damage ease, improving your eye health.
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, including your eye health. Exercise reduces your risk for type 2 diabetes, which is one of the biggest threats to vision health. Fitness helps you control your blood sugar and reduces your risk of developing diabetes and other serious health concerns.
Eat a Healthy Diet (Vitamins & Nutrients)
What you eat is a major factor in your health. Eliminating unhealthy foods and including certain healthy ones in your diet plays a big part in vision health. Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc are all important for eye health. Antioxidants also prevent macular degeneration.
If you are looking for foods to add to your diet that help with eye health, consider eating more:
- Sweet potato
- Red pepper
- Collard greens
- Citrus fruits
Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids like flaxseed and salmon are also great additions.
Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the retina, as well as in certain foods. You can also take them in supplement form. They protect the macula and absorb ultraviolet and blue light. Carotenoids are found in:
- Leafy green vegetables
Protect Your Eyes: Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses are about more than just style. They offer protection from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you invest in sunglasses that fit properly and offer the maximum UV 400 protection.
Avoid Excessive Computer Screen (Blue Light) Exposure
This one has gotten more challenging in recent years as technology has developed. Most people spend a significant amount of time each day looking at screens. If this describes you, and you can’t alter your lifestyle because of work obligations, consider investing in glasses that protect your eyes from blue light exposure.
Keep Your Contact Lenses Clean
Contact lenses come into direct contact with your eyes. This means any bacteria or contaminants on them also touch your eyes. Make sure you are cleaning your contact lenses frequently and following the directions provided on your preferred lens cleaning solution.
Learn Your Risks: Hereditary Factors of Eye Health
Some eye health issues are hereditary, but that doesn’t mean you are destined to develop these problems. Knowing that you have an elevated risk makes it easier to manage your concerns. Some of the most common eye health problems that run in families include:
- Strabismus (eye turn)
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Optic atrophy
- Retinal degeneration
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Vision loss
- Other serious vision problems