Some eye diseases are difficult to prevent, while others can cause severe vision loss. The good news is, there are steps you can take to maintain clear sight. Here are seven tips from optometrists in Cape Cod, MA to help you keep your vision healthy now and for the long-term:
- Know your family history: The most common age-related eye diseases—such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration—are expected to increase dramatically in the next couple years. Do you know your family’s history for eye disease? It’s not unusual for eye diseases to run in families. Give your doctor this information right away.
- Eat a balanced diet: Here’s a fact about eye health you may not know—vitamin deficiency can impair retinal function. Research shows that people with higher levels of vitamins E and C, lutein, zinc, oemega-3 fatty acids and zeaxanthin are less likely to develop certain eye diseases. Include a variety of colorful vegetables, especially leafy greens, into your diet every day!
- Quit smoking: You know that smoking tobacco is linked to a host of health problems, vision issues included. Researchers found that smokers are at an increased risk for developing cataracts, and current smokers and ex-smokers have a higher chance of developing age-related macular degeneration than people who’ve never smoked.
- Wear protective eyewear: It’s important to wear proper eye protection if you want to prevent eye injuries, especially if you participate in sports, do home repairs or cleaning, or are around hazards at work. Proper protective eyewear can shield your eyes from the damaging effects of sharp and blunt projectiles. Prescription eyeglass wearers should wear eye protection over their glasses.
- Wear sunglasses: Direct sunlight can speed up the formation of eye problems like cataracts. When choosing a new pair of sunglasses, get ones that offer UV blocking protection to protect your eyes from disease and harm. UV blocking sunglasses can prevent retinal damage, but they also protect your delicate eyelid skin so they can protect against winkles and skin cancer around the eyes. Opt for 100 percent UV protection.
- Be aware of eye fatigue: Many Americans stare at computer screens for work and personal use at home. As such, they suffer from chronic eye strain, often times without even being aware it is happening. If you look at screens every day, consider following the 20-20-20 rule. The rule wants you to look up from your screen every 20 minutes at a stationary object 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. See your eye doctor if eye fatigue persists.
- Get an eye exam: Even adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should get comprehensive eye exams every couple of years or so. At 40 years old, call your eye doctor to set up a baseline eye disease screening schedule. Healthcare professionals suggest age 40 because this is the time when changes in vision and early signs of eye disease may begin.
Bayview Optometrics has some of the most experienced optometrists in Cape Cod, MA. Call today to schedule an exam and ensure the health of your eyes.