You rely on their vision throughout every waking moment, but do you take your eyesight for granted? You only get one pair of functioning eyes, and those eyes have to last a lifetime. They are valuable, and you need to take care of them throughout your life to keep them healthy and to preserve your vision. Following some proactive tips will help you to maintain the health of your eyes and ensure that they will continue to see your world from now through your golden years.
See the Optometrist
The American Optometric Association recommends that children and healthy adults receive a comprehensive eye examination every two years unless otherwise directed by an optometrist. When you schedule your comprehensive eye examination, gather your family's eye health history. Some visual deficits and diseases of the eye are hereditary, so it's helpful to furnish your optometrist with this information.
A comprehensive examination includes visual acuity tests, such as a refraction test in which you look through a series of lenses to read samples of text. You may think that you see just fine because you are used to the way that you have been viewing things. However, a set of visual tests performed by an optometrist may tell a different story. If the optometrist observes a visual deficit and places a pair of corrective lenses over your eyes, you will be amazed at how much clearer and sharper things appear. If the optometrist recommends glasses or contact lenses, it is important to heed the advice in order to alleviate strain on your eyes.
A comprehensive examination also includes a slit lamp test to assess the physical health of the retina, cornea and other outer structures of your eyes. A simple test for glaucoma is also performed. You will also undergo an imaging test that enables optometrist to visualize all of the blood vessels, nerves and other internal structures of the eye and assess their current condition. All of these tests are easy and painless. If any abnormalities are noted, the optometrist may refer you to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation and treatment. Many eye conditions can be treated or controlled with medications, especially when the conditions are detected early. Annual examinations will help to achieve early detection and early treatment, which can either slow or stop any further progression of visual deficits.
Look Like a Film Star
Sunglasses certainly make you look cool, but they do something much more important. The fashion accessories help to screen out the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays are just as damaging to your eyes as they are to your skin. When shopping for sunglasses, don't skimp on price, and to don't sacrifice functionality for style. Look for sunglasses that are labeled to block out UV-A and UV-B rays. Wear your sunglasses whenever you step outside and while driving, even on hazy and partly cloudy days.
Feast Your Eyes
Eating a nutritionally balanced diet helps to preserve a healthy weight, optimal internal health, and radiant skin, but many of the foods that are included in such a diet are also effective at maintaining the health of your eyes. Carrots are not the only eye-friendly food. The beta-carotene contained in carrots is also found in sweet potatoes, pumpkin and butternut squash. Dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are also beneficial to ocular health. Tuna, salmon and other fish that are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids also benefit the health of your eyes. Bioflavonoids, which are found in some fruits, as well as vitamins A, C, D, E and zinc all play roles in keeping your eyes healthy. A well-balanced diet of sensibly portioned meals will also prevent obesity, which in turn reduces the risk for diabetes and the eye diseases that can result.
There are a number of eye health vitamin supplements on the market. These can be helpful, especially to those who do not consume a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. However, be sure to discuss the option with your doctor and optometrist to determine if the vitamin supplement will benefit you and to confirm that it will not interact adversely with any prescription medications that you are taking.
Don't Be Too Focused
Whether you are an avid reader who cannot put an engrossing book down or you spend most of your day in front of a computer screen, your eyes need a break. Focusing on one visual spot for an extensive period of time can cause eye fatigue, which leads to eyestrain. Intently focusing can also reduce blinking, which can also lead to eye fatigue and dry eyes. No matter how captivating the storyline or the project at hand may be, divert your eyes every 20 minutes to gaze at the furthest point in the room for 20 seconds.
Observe a New Non-Smoking Policy
Do not start smoking. If you already smoke, you have yet another reason to quit. In addition to lung cancer and the litany of other health risks associated with smoking, the habit also leads to an increased risk for such eye diseases as macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and cataracts.
Eyes Under Cover
Protect your eyes when engaging in sports or other activities that can pose a risk for potential eye trauma. Polycarbonate safety goggles, glasses, guards or shields are available to protect your eyes against a variety of specific risks, including chemical exposure. Be sure to wear the correct protective eyewear to suit the task, and always wear the protection when engaging in such activities.
Your eyesight is precious. Keep an eye on your vision and take care of your peepers by following these tips and scheduling your next eye exam. Think of these tips as the blueprint that will keep you reading the fine print for many years to come. Schedule your new eye appointment with a clinic like Quality Eye Care.