June is Healthy Vision Month. To celebrate, let’s look at 5 ways to increase your chances of enjoying a lifetime of healthy vision.
#1 — Get An Eye Exam
For most people, losing 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.
“This is extremely dangerous, since the most common causes of blindness — glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration — increase with age. Vision loss often can be prevented or reduced if these conditions are diagnosed and treated early. But the only way this can be done is to have routine comprehensive eye exams.”
All About Vision says a comprehensive eye exam determines not just your prescription but also whether or not your eyes are working together correctly and if you have symptoms of common eye diseases. Eye exams also indicate overall health. Eye doctors are often the first to see the presence of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.
#2 — Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Well known for their benefit to heart health, Omega-3 fatty acids might also lessen 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-3s 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 healthy eating is essential for overall physical and mental health. That benefit may also include eye health, specifically the reduction of cataracts. In fact, research shows that while eating a healthy diet does not guarantee you won’t develop cataracts, it does lower the risk.
“Given the positive association between nutrition and cataracts, it’s probably a good idea to increase the amount of certain antioxidants in your daily diet. However, the majority of people in the U.S. are not eating five servings of fruits and vegetables and good food sources of vitamin E each day. If you find it difficult to increase the level of these antioxidants and carotenoids in your diet, consider taking multivitamin/mineral and eye health supplements.”
#4 — Understand the Dangers
From the dangers posed by laser pointers to the potential hazards in the workplace, threats to eye health surround us. Adhering to workplace safety procedures and 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 such as wearing safety glasses or goggles regularly.
#5 — Wear Sunglasses Regularly
Many people usually wear sunscreen to protect their skin but often forget the importance of protecting their eyes against sunburn. In addition, they may not realize that sun damage to the eyes increases the risk and progression of diseases such as AMD and cataracts over time. Wearing sunglasses with maximum UV protection decreases the risk of cumulative sun damage and helps keep eyes healthy for a lifetime. Check out the article Sun Safety for more details on how to safely enjoy the sun.
Ensure a Lifetime of Eye Health!
Most people value their eyesight over their other senses, yet many do little to promote healthy vision. The above tips can go a long way in ensuring eyes stay healthy for a lifetime. But, they only help when put into practice. So, if you genuinely value your eyesight, begin protecting it today!
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