Real Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Disease
The countdown is on, with only days left to satisfy the resolutions you made at the start of the year. Whether or not you achieved your past goals, a new year is about to begin. Instead of looking back, it’s time to focus forwards. What are your goals for the upcoming year?
You may work out at the gym daily to keep yourself in shape. Yet, what about your eyes and vision? We constantly use and rely upon our eyes, and when something breaks down – it can be scary and stressful. Throughout the year, our Copperas Cove eye doctors aim to help you prevent eye disease and maintain your clear vision for as long as possible. Join us in this resolution! Let’s look at some lifestyle changes you can implement to protect your eyes from common eye disease, such as macular degeneration, cataracts and digital eyestrain.
1. Reserve Regular Eye Exams
Don’t wait for a problem before you book an appointment with your eye doctor. Many eye complications do not appear until the eye disease has advanced to a serious stage. Common conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts can remain silent for a long while – and the only way to uncover them is with a thorough eye exam.
When you visit your eye doctor, speak up about your health history. A number of traits increase your chances of developing eye disease and it’s important to know your risks. If you have diabetes or hypertension (or a family history of these conditions), it is even more critical to visit your eye doctor. African Americans over 40 are also at a higher risk of eye disease. Ask about whether you are a candidate for advanced testing, such as digital retinal imaging that provides more precise and detailed diagnoses.
2. Eat Well
Quality eye health needs the right nourishment, just like your whole body works more efficiently when you eat nutritiously. In specific, healthy eyesight benefits from a diet rich in lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can be found in many typical foods, such as oranges, nuts, spinach, brown rice, salmon, sardines and avocado. Also, ask your eye doctor about whether you should be taking eye health supplements, and which one is most appropriate for your health condition, such as diabetes.
3. Stay in Motion
Did you know that exercise promotes the absorption of many nutrients? Now that you’re eating well, make the most of the nutrients and antioxidants in your foods by exercising regularly. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, scientific studies demonstrate that exercise can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration significantly.
4. No Smoking
You know that smoking can damage your health, causing a whole slew of dangerous, life-threatening conditions. It can also damage your eyes, leading to eye disease that threatens your vision. Smokers are at an increased risk of optic nerve damage, cataracts and macular degeneration.
5. Shade Your Eyes from Sun
Sunglasses protect your eye health in the same way that sunscreen protects your skin health. Wear sunglasses that block a minimum of 99% of UVA and UVB ultraviolet rays. Recent studies have associated these harmful sun rays with macular degeneration and cataracts.
6. Let Your Eyes Rest
A recent study in the US estimated that people spent about 7 hours per day staring at a digital screen! This stresses healthy vision, leading to fatigue and digital eyestrain. When you are viewing a monitor of any type, our Copperas Cove eye doctors encourage you to take a break at least every 20 minutes. Raise your eyes and gaze into the distance, and remember to blink frequently.
7. Proper Contact Lens Hygiene
Contact lens wearers must be extra cautious about eye hygiene. Disinfect your lenses according to the instructions and discard them according to your wearing schedule. Neglecting good hygiene can lead to eye irritation and infection.
The leading causes of blindness and low vision in American are eye diseases related to aging, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, as well as diabetic retinopathy in people who have diabetes. To keep your clear vision for as long as possible, follow these tips to protect your eyes as you age. For more information and expert management of your eye health, schedule an appointment in Copperas Cove!