June is Healthy Vision Month. To celebrate, let’s look at 5 ways to immediately increase your chances of enjoying a lifetime of healthy vision.
1. Get an eye exam. Most adults admit a loss of vision would have an extreme impact on their lives. Yet, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, 25% have not had an eye exam in the last 2 years, and 9% have never had an eye exam.All About Vision says a comprehensive eye exam determines not just your prescription but also whether or not your eyes are working together properly and if you have symptoms of common eye diseases. Eye exams also give an indication of overall health with eye doctors often being the first alerted to the presence of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
2. Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Well known for the benefit to heart health, Omega-3 fatty acids might also benefit eye health by lessening the symptoms of eye disease. According to The National Eye Institute, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in the United States. While Omega-3’s are not proven to prevent AMD, research shows they may slow its progression.
3. Eat a healthy diet. There’s no shortage of research showing that a healthy diet is essential for overall physical and mental health. That benefit may also include eye health, specifically reduction of cataracts. In fact, research shows that women who ate a “diet closest to the U.S. government’s 1990 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were less likely to develop cataracts than those who did not follow the guidelines as closely.” While eating a healthy diet does not guarantee you won’t develop cataracts, it does lower the risk.
4. Understand the dangers. From the dangers posed by laser pointers to the potential dangers in the workplace, threats to eye health surround us. Adhering to workplace safety procedures as well as implementing your own safety plan at home can help protect your eyes. Begin with education to understand the potential dangers, and then take action by reducing risk with safety practices and by wearing safety glasses or goggles regularly.
5. Wear sunglasses regularly. Many people regularly wear sunscreen to protect their skin but often forget the importance of protecting their eyes against sunburn. They also don’t realize that, over time, sun damage to the eyes increases the risk and progression of diseases such as AMD and cataracts. Wearing sunglasses with maximum UV protection can decrease the risk of cumulative sun damage and thus help keep eyes healthy for a lifetime. Check out the article Sun Safety for more details on how to safely enjoy the sun.
Most people value their eyesight over their other senses, yet many do little to promote healthy eyesight. The above tips can go a long way in ensuring eyes stay healthy for a lifetime, but they only help if put into practice. If you truly value your eyesight, begin protecting it today!