Don’t take your eyes for granted. Follow these simple steps to keep your sighted people healthy.
1. Eat well
Good eye health is related with the food on your plate. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E could help prevent age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. To get them, fill your plate with:
- Green leafy vegetables like collard greens, kale and spinach
- Salmon, tuna and other fatty fish
- Beans, eggs, nuts and other sources of protein other than meat
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or fruit juices
- Oysters and pork
Healthy weight is also maintained by eating a well-balanced diet. This lowers your risk for obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
2. Stop smoking
This makes you more likely to damage your optic nerve, have cataracts, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems. If you tried to kick the habit before starting over, keep going. The more you try to quit smoking, the more likely you are to be successful. Ask your doctor for help.
3. Wear sunglasses
The right pair of blinds will help protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive UV exposure increases your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Choose a pair that blocks UVA and UVB rays (99% to 100%). To protect your eyes from the side, wraparound lenses also help. Polarized lenses reduce glare while you are driving, but don’t necessarily provide additional protection.
Some contact lenses offer UV protection. It’s always a good idea to wear sunglasses for an extra layer.
4. Use safety glasses
If you use hazardous or airborne materials at work or at home, wear safety glasses or eye protection.
Sports like ice hockey, racquetball, and lacrosse can also lead to eye injuries. Wear eye protection. Helmets with face shields or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses will protect your eyes.
5. Look away from the computer screen
For too long, staring at a computer or phone screen can cause:
- Eye strain
- Blurred vision
- Remote focus problem
- Dry eyes
- Pain in neck, back and shoulders
To protect your eyes:
- Make sure your eyeglass or contact lens prescription is up to date and good for viewing a computer screen.
- If your eye strain persists, tell your doctor about computer glasses.
- Move the screen to level your eyes with the top of the monitor. This allows you to look down at the screen slightly.
- Try to avoid glare from windows and lights. Use an anti-glare screen if necessary.
- Choose a comfortable and supportive chair. Position it so that on the floor your feet are flat.
- If your eyes are dry, blink them no. of times or try using artificial tears.
- Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Look at 20 feet for 20 seconds. At least every 2 hours, get up and take a break for 15 minutes.
6. See your ophthalmologist regularly
Everyone needs a regular eye exam. It helps protect your eyesight and lets you see your best.
Eye exams can also detect conditions, such as glaucoma, that have no symptoms. It is important to spot them early on, when they are easier to deal with.
Depending on your eye health needs, you can see one of the doctors:
- Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in eye care. They can provide general eye care, treat eye disease, and perform eye surgery.
- Optometrists underwent specialized training for 4 years after college. They provide general eye care and can diagnose most eye diseases. They don’t do eye surgery.
A comprehensive eye exam may include:
- Talk about your personal and family medical history
- Vision tests to see if you are nearsighted, hyperopic, astigmatic (a curved cornea that blurs vision) or presbyopia (age-related changes in vision)
- Tests to see how your eyes work together
- To check for glaucoma, eye pressure and optic nerve tests
- Before and after dilation, external and microscopic examination of your eyes
You might also need other tests.