If you think you’re immune to declining vision, think again. It’s estimated that approximately 253 million people have some sort of vision impairment.
It’s a fact of life – getting older means more health issues and a greater responsibility to take measures to try and stay healthy. This includes your eyesight.
If you’re lucky, your vision will remain strong throughout your twenties and thirties. After that, the chances of vision problems increase.
However, it’s never too late to develop good habits that help you protect your vision. And these techniques are probably a lot easier than you thought.
Let’s go over ten things you can do to help keep your eyes in good shape.
1. Regular Eye Exams
Just because your vision seems unchanged, you shouldn’t neglect regular checkups with your eye doctor. There’s a good chance your vision has deteriorated without you knowing.
Going without glasses when you need them puts strain on your eyes and can worsen your eyesight over time. You need to have yearly eye tests done so you know if glasses or contact lenses are necessary.
Having regular eye exams also ensures you catch any other conditions early on and treat them before further damage occurs.
2. Don’t Forget Your Shades
Ultraviolet rays from the sun can potentially cause a number of eye problems including macular degeneration and cataracts. To protect your vision, you should always wear sunglass when outside.
When picking out a pair of shades, it’s important to pay attention to the percentage of UVA and UVB blockage they provide. Look for glasses that block 99 to 100%.
Obviously, wearing sunglasses when hanging out by the pool or going to the beach is important. But you should also wear them on partly cloudy days too.
3. Your Diet Matters
Antioxidants are very important in maintaining eye health. You can help protect your vision from deterioration by regularly eating fruits and vegetables.
Specifically, you should incorporate kale, spinach, and other leafy greens. These vegetables help prevent cataracts.
Fruits such as berries, pecans, and artichokes are all high in antioxidants. You should also look for vitamins and supplements that help get rid of toxins.
Omega-3 fatty acids have also proven beneficial for vision health. You can get this from salmon, tuna, eggs, and flaxseed.
Visit a health food store and ask about other vitamin-rich ingredients that help detoxify your system.
4. Be Aware of Warning Signs
If you truly want to protect your vision, you should always remain aware of possible issues and their warning signs. Many people ignore vision deterioration, which only makes it worsen over time.
If you notice you’re straining (even slightly) while reading or driving, you need to see your eye doctor. You should also pay attention to things like double vision, trouble seeing in lower light, or blurriness. These could all indicate a need for glasses or contacts.
You can also keep your eyes healthy by seeing a doctor if you have redness and irritation, pain, or see spots. You may have a more severe condition that needs treatment.
5. Give up Smoking
That’s right! Smoking is even bad for your eyesight.
Smoking increases your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It also contributes to dry eye.
If you smoke now and want to protect your vision from future impairment, give it up. Your entire body will thank you.
6. Watch Your Weight
In addition to eating the right things, you should also keep an eye on your overall weight. Fortunately, the foods that help keep your eyes in good shape are also good for you.
Obesity is often connected to issues like high blood pressure and diabetes. Both of these conditions have the potential to cause vision degeneration.
When you’re overweight, there’s more strain on your blood vessels. This, in turn, causes inflammation throughout the body. This added pressure on your blood vessels is potentially damaging to your eyes, so maintain a healthy weight to reduce this stress.
7. Wear Eye Protection
You should always wear eye protection when necessary. And we don’t mean prescription glasses or sunglasses.
If you play contact or racquet sports, you should always wear sports goggles or a protective mask so you don’t suffer a serious eye injury.
If you work around hazardous materials or in environments with lots of dust and debris in the air, wear the proper eye protection.
An eye injury could result in permanent damage, so always take precautions.
8. Give the Computer Screen a Break
Working on a computer is commonplace now. Unfortunately, it comes with several risks to your eye health.
Staring at a monitor all day can cause eyestrain, focus issues, blurriness, and dry eyes. You may also get headaches and neck pain.
To help with this, get up and give your eyes a break throughout the day. You’ll probably notice they feel better right away.
You should also ask your eye doctor about lenses made specifically for monitor use.
9. Don’t Rub Your Eyes
Most people rub their eyes without thinking about it. They don’t even know they’re doing it.
Our hands are covered in bacteria, so when you rub your eyes, your transferring potentially harmful germs.
Rubbing your eyes can also cause other damage, like scratches to your retina. Try to break yourself of the habit and help protect your vision.
10. Avoid Sleeping With Contacts In
If you already wear contact lenses, it’s important you take them out every night before bed.
The surface of your contacts may have micro-organisms on them and need to be washed. When you leave them in all night, you increase the chance of these organisms adhering to your eye and causing an infection.
Taking your contacts out is also good for your eyes, as it allows them to get more oxygen.
Protect Your Vision for Years to Come
For some people, vision problems are inevitable. However, by using the tips discussed above, you can preserve the eye health you have now for years.
We take for granted how much our eyes do for us. Try to reward them by keeping them in good shape and caring for them every day.
We provide eye exams and corrective vision solutions throughout Idaho. Contact us today to set up an appointment.