When was the last time you had an eye exam, gotten new glasses or thought to protect your eyes from the sun? For most of us, it has been awhile. We often take our eyesight for granted. But as we age, good health habits and consistent care become even more important to preventing disorders such as glaucoma, cataract, and macular degeneration. Here are some simple steps that you can take to help take care of your eyes:
- Get an annual eye exam. Eye exams not only can detect if you need to wear glasses or need a stronger prescription but they can detect early onset of diseases. As we age, our chances increase for glaucoma, cataracts, and for macular degeneration. Early detection of these can help prevent loss of sight.
- Look away from the computer. Have you noticed how many times you are staring at your computer screen? Take a break Periodically to give your eyes a rest.
- Use safety eye wear. If you are playing a sports or do work at home or a job where debris could damage your eyes, wear protective eyewear. If you have prescription eyewear, contact your eye doctor to find out where you can purchase eye protectors.
- Stop smoking. Studies have shown that an increase in cigarette smoking can lead to poor eye vision. Smoking has also been linked to an increased risk for cataracts, macular degeneration and optic nerve damage. Contact your physician for help on how to quite smoking.
- Wear Sunglasses. You protect your skin with sunscreen so why not protect your eyes? If you wear glasses, transition lenses are an option.
- Eat for better eyes. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E may help wear off cataracts and macular degeneration. Eating a well balanced diet can ward off type-2 diabetes which can cause blindness.
Here is a list of healthy foods for eyes:
- Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
- Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
- Eggs, nuts, beans and other non-meat protein sources
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices