Focus on 3 Tips for Healthy Eye Care



You use vision more than any of your senses, but how well are you caring for your eyes? Your movements, activities and interactions all rely on your ability to see clearly. Protecting your eyes helps lower the chances of vision loss, blindness and the development of eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

Schedule Annual Comprehensive Eye Exams

Lots of people assume they only need to go to the eye doctor if they have a vision problem. However, many eye conditions do not have symptoms in the early stages. Diseases like glaucoma can develop without notice but can cause permanent eye damage. Gradually, glaucoma reduces the visual field, but most people don’t notice the loss in peripheral vision.

Yearly comprehensive eye exams will allow your doctor to diagnose and treat eye conditions early to prevent vision loss. Diabetic eye disease is another common condition that can damage the blood vessels in the eyes. Detecting eye changes caused by diabetes at an early stage can significantly decrease the chances of blindness by 60 to 90 percent.

Protect Your Eyes from the Elements, Objects and Digital Devices

The eye is a small, delicate part of the body and can sustain injury quite easily. Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight can damage part of the retina called the macula, which is responsible for central vision. Wearing sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays can help prevent macular damage.

Safety goggles can protect your eyes from foreign objects while gardening, woodworking or playing sports. Safety goggles are not expensive, and it is wise to buy several pairs and have them accessible in your garage, car and utility room.

Digital eye strain will not permanently affect your vision, but it can be irritating or painful. Staring at screens can reduce blink rate and cause dry eye. To address this issue, you can experiment with placing a sticky note on your monitor or scheduling a prompt on your mobile device to encourage frequent blinking.

Whenever you are using digital devices, it’s helpful to remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle

Exercise and nutrition are important for your overall wellness, but they’re also essential for optimum eye health. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving.

According to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-level exercise and two days of muscle strengthening activity each week. It’s all about getting up and moving. Adults who sit less and engage in exercise will enjoy health benefits (CDC).

Consuming foods abundant in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the likelihood of developing conditions such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and dry eye as you grow older.

Here are some examples of nutrient-rich foods in each category (AAO):

  • Vitamin C — oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, tomatoes, kiwifruit, broccoli and red and green peppers
  • Vitamin E — almonds, avocadoes, olive oil and sunflower seeds
  • Zinc — legumes (beans and lentils), seafood, meat, eggs and dairy
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin — broccoli; asparagus; leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and Swiss chard; papaya; peaches; raspberries and mangos

Call an Ophthalmologist for an Appointment

Quality vision care isn’t time-consuming or expensive. A regular eye exam takes about an hour, but it provides a whole year of benefits. Your ophthalmologist will give you a visual acuity test, check for refractive errors and evaluate your prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

You will also receive a screening for eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. When detected at an early stage, eye disease is easier to treat and less costly.

Find an Ophthalmologist in Your Area

Have you recently moved or need a new eye doctor? We have eye care centers all over the country and can assist you in locating a doctor near your residence. With proper care, you can have clear vision for years to come.