Vision is something that may be easy to forget about when there isn’t a problem. The eyes are a very important part of the body for daily life, so it is important to know how to keep them healthy. Here are some helpful tips for keeping your vision safe.
- Get regular eye exams. Many people who say their eyesight is the sense they value most don’t think about preventative care and haven’t been to the eye doctor in three years. Unfortunately, many eye diseases can abruptly result in vision loss, so it is always best to get regular check-ups to ensure no diseases are present in your eyes. Adults over 40 need to have yearly eye exams to prevent age-related conditions that cause eyesight to deteriorate. Children need their first eye exam between six and twelve months of age.
- Let your eye doctor know your health history. Many conditions such as hypertension, blood pressure, and diabetes can affect eyesight. Alert your doctor to your health history so they can better identify, treat, or prevent any damage to the eyes as a result of other conditions.
- Control air quality in the home and office. Winter leads to home and office heating systems creating dry air that can cause strain on your eyes. Consider getting a portable humidifier to prevent irritation and dry eyes.
- Have a medical kit in your home and include saline solution. When doing anything that involves chemicals, dust, or other airborne particles, wear safety goggles. If you accidentally splash soap in your eye at home, rinse thoroughly with saline for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinsing is the best way to clear the eyes. See a doctor if any irritation persists or if you believe your sight is in danger.
- If you wear contacts, replace the case. One main reason people experience issues with their eyes is because they don’t maintain their contacts properly. If you have lenses, store the case in a dry space that isn’t a breeding ground for bacteria. Completely rinse and dry the case before storing the lenses in it each time. Replace the case after no more than two months.
- Drink a little caffeine… only a little. Two servings of caffeinated beverage each day can help protect against dry eyes. However, more than two can deplete the tear film in your eyes and cause dryness and irritation.
- Regularly eat leafy greens, dark berries, and fish. Eating carrots does NOT improve your vision (even though they can’t hurt). Spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts, dark berries such as blueberries and blackberries, and foods rich in omega-3s can reduce inflammation in the blood vessels in the eye. Berries also contain lutein, which protects against the destructive eye condition macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss for people over the age of 60. Include these foods in your diet to help keep your eyes healthy.
Contact your physician or eye care professional with any questions you have about eye health. Vision is a vital part of life for most people. Protect it by taking a few easy steps.
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