Strong and healthy vision plays an important role in your everyday life — so it’s important that you’re doing what you can to take care of your eyesight.
5 Tips for Safe & Healthy Eyes
There are different lifestyle changes you can make that will keep your eyes strong and healthy. Read through these tips, and see what things you might do that could weaken or damage your eyes.
Balanced Diet and Exercise
Did you know that what you eat can affect the overall health of your eyes? Vitamins C and E can help prevent or ward off problems like cataracts and eye degeneration. To get these vitamins, try incorporating leafy vegetables, fish, oranges and other citrus fruits, eggs, nuts, and beans into your diet.
Combine your balanced diet with exercise for a lifestyle change that will keep you at a lower risk for developing eye problems and is also good for your body as a whole. When you get enough exercise, your blood circulation and oxygen levels improve, helping remove toxins that could be harmful to your eye health.
How often do you visit your optometrist? We say this often, but maintaining regular eyecare appointments is very important. If you have 20/20 visions, or eyesight that does not need any corrective lens, schedule an eye exam every one to two years just to make sure nothing has changed with your eyesight and that you’re not at risk of an eye disease.
If you have glasses or are at risk for certain eye conditions, you’ll want to visit your eyecare provider more frequently. This ensures that you have an updated prescription and that nothing is changing with the health of your eyes.
Just like you take the time to protect your skin with sunscreen, protect your eyes from sunlight. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun can cause damage to your eyes when you’re not protecting them with sunglasses. Long term exposure to UV rays can increase your risk for developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
This eye protection extends beyond the sun. When you’re working with tools or carrying objects that have the potential to damage your eyes or lift up particles that could enter your eyes, wear goggles. Additionally, if you play sports that involve equipment or put you at risk of an eye injury, protect your eyes!
Damage to your eyes from activities or the sun can have lasting impacts on your vision that were preventable with the proper eye protection.
Avoid or Limit Your Electronic Devices
Many people spend their eight hour work days staring at the screen. And then, when they get home, it’s not uncommon to relax in front of another screen while browsing on their mobile devices.
All of these devices give off blue light that can disrupt your sleeping patterns and increase your chances of macular degeneration. On top of that, staring at screens for long periods of time can cause other problems, including:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
If you have to sit in front of a screen, find a program or glasses that filter out the blue light and ensure that your eyes are level with the top of the monitor to prevent eye strain and body aches. In addition, if your eyes feel dry, try blinking more or help your eyes with eye drops.
Then, when you get home, consider how much time you need to spend staring at electronic devices. Try swapping out for your mobile device for a book before bed!
Wash Your Hands More
This tip might seem unrelated to your eye health. But think about how often you touch your face and eyes throughout the day. If you wear contact lenses, you want to make sure you’re not exposing those lenses to the germs and bacteria on your hands. If you have to adjust your contacts or rub your eyes, make sure you wash your hands and dry them with a lint-free towel.
Viruses can also transfer from contact with your eyes. If you’re around people who have a cold or other viruses, make sure you wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.