To see the world around you, peoples faces, expressions, landscapes, is all because of your eyes. As we grow older, we all become more susceptible to eye disorders, vision loss, or some variety of eye illness. Just as we exercise to prevent health problems and to build a strong heart and muscles, we should also be aware of how to prevent eye disorders. Knowing about proper eye care and making lifestyle changes in order to prevent problems from occurring should be a habit everyone takes part in.
Learn if There is a Risk of Eye Disease
Many health problems that can affect our eyes run in the family, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Ask your family about their health history to determine if you are at a greater risk of developing any health problems. Visiting an optometrist can actually be a good start in determining if there are any signs of these diseases.
Schedule Regular Exams to Check For Diabetes or High Blood Pressure
These issues can not only affect your health, but your eyes as well. Through regular exams and physicals, your doctor can test for diabetes or high blood pressure. These illnesses can lead to diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or eye strokes.
Watch For Changes in Your Vision
Knowing what to look for can be a method of preventing more serious eye problems. If you begin noticing double vision, blurry vision, or have trouble seeing in low light conditions, these could be signs and symptoms of potential eye problems, even if it’s simply a matter of needing glasses or contacts. Watch out for red eyes, flashes of light, floaters, eye pain, or swelling.
Exercising to prevent high blood pressure can also prevent problems from occurring in your eyes. Even a simple walk around the neighborhood can reduce the risk of eye complications related to high blood pressure.
Protect Your Eyes From UV Light
Wearing sunglasses during daytime or in direct sunlight can protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet rays. Don’t just wear any sunglasses, though, wear glasses that block 100 percent of UV light. Continued exposure to UV light can lead to cataracts, pinguecula, pterygium, age-related macular degeneration and eye cancer.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Carrots aren’t the only thing that are good for your eyes. Antioxidants can reduce the risk of cataracts. Build a diet around fruits and dark green vegetables. Fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, spinach, and broccoli which have high concentrations of lutein may reduce the risk of macular degeneration from developing. Your eyes need nutrients just like the rest of the body, so eating foods such as salmon, green leafy vegetables and nuts can improve your eye health. The benefit of eating these foods is that they also help prevent heart related illnesses.
Visit an Optometrist Every One to Two Years
A comprehensive eye exam should be done every one to two years, unless problems arise that needed to be addressed immediately. A trip to the optometrist will determine if there are signs of diabetic retinopathy and other eye related disorders. If you currently wear glasses or contacts, this trip will also determine if an update in the prescription is needed.
Quitting smoking is generally a good idea and has many health benefits, not just for your eyes. People who smoke are more at risk of developing macular degeneration.
Rest Your Eyes
If you work at a computer, give your eyes time to adjust at regular intervals throughout the day. Being close up to things will cause us to not blink as frequently, which can lead to dry eyes. Surprisingly, a symptom of dry eyes is that they water more because of a breakdown in the mucous layer of the eye that keeps tears from evaporating. To rest your eyes follow the 20-20-20 rule: look at something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
Eye care may seem like something that is only necessary for someone of a certain age, but following these tips for preventing future problems will mean healthier eyes when these problems are more common. Even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts, a regular eye exam with an optometrist will give you an insight into the health of your eyes as well as your body. Call Vision Care Centre today for an appointment.