Your vision is precious! Here’s how to keep it healthy for the years to come, especially if you’re considering LASIK in the future.
Everyone knows to brush and floss their teeth and get regular exercise for heart health, but eyes are usually an afterthought — despite being one of the most important parts of the body!
Failing to take measures to maintain eye health doesn’t just put your vision at risk of deteriorating — it also means lower odds of a successful result should you ever opt to have any sort of surgical procedure performed on your eyes.
Here are five simple ways to improve your eye health and increase your vision’s longevity.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced, healthy diet is beneficial for both your body and mind — but did you know it’s good for your eyes, too? Incorporating more of certain foods into your diet can actually help your eyes stay healthy and strong.
Try to cut down on alcohol and saturated fats, and eat more foods containing nutrients and antioxidants like lutein, Vitamin E and C, zinc, and omega-3s: leafy greens, fish, citrus fruits, eggs, nuts, and beans can all contribute to a decreased risk of developing conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for the skin, teeth, and lungs, but few people realize that it can hurt the eyes. Studies have shown that smoking can increase one’s risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage (which can lead to glaucoma). So, if you currently smoke, it’s advisable to cut down or quit entirely if possible. If you haven’t started smoking yet, keep it that way.
Keep Your Eyes Covered
Bright and direct sun can be dangerous for skin, but eyes are vulnerable too. Sunglasses are your best defense against blinding, harmful rays. Luckily, many sunglasses manufacturers have struck a solid balance between form and function, so you can look great while you protect your eyes. When you find a pair of sunglasses that fit you well, make sure that they’re polarized and offer 99-100% UVA/UVB protection.
But even when you’re not in the sun, if you’re involved in a job, hobby, or sport that could result in an eye injury, remember to wear goggles or safety glasses.
Take Tech Breaks
Smartphones, tablets, and computers are important components of many jobs as well as just day-to-day communication nowadays. Unfortunately, because screens like these emit blue light, looking at them for long periods of time can be hard on your eyes
To avoid eye strain, discomfort, or dry eyes, don’t stare at a screen too closely or too far away (a distance around two feet is ideal) and take breaks about every 20 minutes. If your work requires looking at a screen for many hours a day, it may be worth looking into glare-reducing screens or software that reduces blue light emissions.
Get Regular Eye Exams
Even if you’re taking other steps to keep your eyes healthy, you should schedule regular exams with your optometrist to make sure that no unexpected problems arise. In addition to your standard exam, it’s a good idea to occasionally request a more comprehensive exam with a dilation, which will allow your doctor to see the back of your eyes and make sure even the hidden parts of your eyes are healthy.
Prevention and early detection are the two best means of fighting any health concern. Combining your diet and lifestyle with regular check-ups from a trained eye professional will keep your eyes and vision strong.