Here are 8 ways to protect your eyes and vision as you age.
“Being proactive about your eye health is the best way to avoid long term vision problems down the road. Follow these simple steps to take charge of your eye health today.”
Your eyes are your windows to the world so it’s important to take steps to keep eyes healthy and safe from injury.
- Get regular eye exams. Annual exams can identify vision problems, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as other health conditions, such as diabetes. Many common eye diseases often have no warning signs and a dilated eye exam is the only way to detect them at the earliest stages.
- Wear sunglasses. Your eyes can be damaged by the sun just like your skin. Sunglasses should be worn year round, not just during summer. Choose glasses that block both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Use protective eyewear. People of all ages should wear sport-specific eyewear made with polycarbonate lenses when playing sports such as baseball, softball, football, hockey, lacrosse, basketball, soccer and racquet sports. Each year, thousands of kids injure their eyes and more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. Also wear protective eyewear when doing yardwork, operating machinery, using chemicals and making household repairs.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage.
- Eat healthy. What you put on your plate can affect how healthy your eyes are. Include lots of fruits and veggies in your diet, especially dark leafy greens and dark berries. They are rich in lutein, which is good for your eyes. Orange-colored fruits and veggies contain beta carotene, a type of vitamin A that gives foods their orange hue and helps promote eye health. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and walnuts, can also help maintain eye health.
- Maintain a healthy weight. This can help prevent diabetes, which can negatively affect the health of your eyes.
- Keep hands away from eyes. This keeps germs from getting into your eyes and helps prevent infection. If you wear contact lenses, always wash hands before putting in or taking out lenses.
- Give eyes a rest. For every 20 minutes in front of your computer, spend about 20 seconds looking away from the screen to reduce eye strain.
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Date Last Reviewed: January 29, 2021
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD