Your eyes are one of the most complex and downright amazing parts of your body. You use them every day, and they can function at 100% at… well, the blink of an eye—you just open your eyelids and they are ready to go. But don’t take them for granted! Make sure you’re taking care of your eyes and keeping them healthy.
Follow these tips and keep your eyes healthy:
- Get an annual eye exam – It may sound like a no-brainer, but 23 million American adults have never had one. Never! Just because your eyes feel healthy doesn’t mean that they necessarily are. The only way to be sure is to see your optometrist annually. You may not even realize that your vision could be improved! And, more importantly, your optometrist can detect eye diseases like glaucoma, which don’t have telltale warning signs you can look for on your own. Early detection is crucial when it comes to eye disease.
- Know your family’s eye history – Eye disease is oftentimes hereditary. Knowing if family members have been diagnosed with an eye disease will tell your optometrist to pay special attention to the symptoms and signs of that particular disease. This can lead to early detection and treatment.
- Protect your eyes at work – It’s easy to forget safety goggles at work or sports glasses when participating in recreational activities, or even safety glasses when doing work around your home. The act of simply putting them on could be the difference between a healthy eye and a scratched retina from debris or impacted socket from a soccer or baseball.
- Rest your eyes – Your eyes are can process 36,000 pieces of information an hour. That deserves a rest, don’t you think? Things like digital eye strain, or spending long periods of time focused on a particular thing can strain the eye. Make sure you get plenty of sleep, which reduces strain too!
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection – 94% of premature aging around the eyes is caused by UV damage. But the sun can do more than give you crow’s feet and wrinkles, ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes. Make sure you put on shades with UV-A and UV-B protection or they‘re useless in protecting your eyes.
- Eat healthy foods – Did childhood friends ever tell you that eating carrots will help you see in the dark? It won’t gain you nocturnal animal night vision, but eating healthy foods such as salmon, sardines, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits and, yes, carrots will all benefit eye health.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Just like your weight affects your physical health, it affects your eye health as well. Being overweight or obese can increase chances for diabetes, which has been linked to eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and even vision loss.
- Be mindful of what you put in or around your eyes – Not properly cleaning contact lenses or wearing them past their expiration date is just asking for an eye trouble. Make sure you’re using high quality contact cleaner and washing your hands before handling them. Also, be mindful or the makeup you use. Be sure to throw away old makeup, avoid sharing, and don’t use samples from a store.
Keeping your eyes healthy may not be rocket science, but it sure is important.
CALLOUT: Researches expect that, as the population gets older, the number of people who are visually impaired or blind will double by 2050.
Source: nei.nih.gov, health.cleavelandclinic.org, irisvision.com, aao.org