Healthy Aging

Top tips to better eye health

Getting ready for summer? Don’t forget your eyes!

Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

But did you know there’s more to good eye care than wearing sunglasses?  Here’s a grab bag of other tips to keep your eyes healthy for years to come.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. 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. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye the same way an open door lets more light into a dark room. This enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. 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. Has anyone in your family 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.

Eat right to protect your sight. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too.  Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

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. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.

Wear protective eyewear. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. 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. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

Quit smoking or never start. 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, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.

Give your eyes a rest. 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.

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 appropriate.

Practice workplace eye safety. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.


6 responses to “Top tips to better eye health

  1. Thank you for stating that visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure that your eyes are healthy. I have recently been having problems with my eyesight and thing I need to get my eyes checked out. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when trying to keep my eyes healthy.

  2. Thanks for the tips for better eye health. I appreciate that you mentioned that it’s important to clean your hands and contact lenses properly. I think it would also be smart to make sure that you have the right eyecare products as well to help make sure you could take care of your eyes correctly.

  3. I have macular degeneration, and have had cataract surgery, have floaters, was very near-sided my whole life….screening the blue light of computer devices has helped, read about it, it can be really bad for everyone’s vision and especially older people, and in my work and personal life I spend a lot of time on computer devices. Costco and other places can put the screening on your glasses lenses for this, even if you don’t have an Rx – it has helped and my degeneration has not increased since I started wearing these glasses and less tired eyes

  4. Aging eyes should ONLY use full spectrum incandescent natural light bulbs to read or work by. I did the research on this after a serious bout with low angel glaucoma and any other type of bulb is really bad for our eyes.

    Chromalux is a great product that lasts a good long time.

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