Tips for Healthy Eyes
Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. The following simple tips can help you keep your eyes healthy and your vision as clear as possible for many years to come:
Get routine eye exams from an eye doctor. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.
Know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions which can lead to vision loss – such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.
Wear proper protective eyewear when playing sports or for hazardous tasks. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate which is 10 times stronger than other plastics.
Avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
Wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes from excessive ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Too much UV exposure can damage your retina and cause lasting vision loss. It can also raise the risk of cataracts. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
Take regular breaks from close work and visually demanding tasks. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain. Provide good light for reading, work or study (soft background light plus a light on your task).
Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as recommended.