Did you know that 20 million Americans struggle with severe vision loss? Your vision is such a precious and important part of your overall health. There are numerous steps that you can take to reduce vision loss and ensure you are seeing at your very best!
Taking the time to care for your contacts and eyewear daily can maintain healthy vision.
- Contacts: Sleeping in your contacts can cause significant damage to your eyesight. Make sure you are removing your contacts and cleaning them every night. This gives your eyes a chance to breathe and lowers your chances of bacteria growth on your contacts. Follow your doctor’s recommendations on which contact lens cleaning and disinfecting solutions to use.
- Expiration Dates: Remember to check for expiration dates on your contacts, contact lens solution, and eye drops. Using expired products can be a danger to your vision.
- Eyeglasses: Properly clean your prescription eyeglasses dailywith a microfiber cloth and eyeglass cleaner; this will help you to see at your absolute best.
- Eye Makeup: Removing eye makeup before getting a good night’s sleep is imperative for your eye health. Going to sleep in your eye makeup can clog the glands around your eyes and irritate your skin. Ensure that you are washing your face completely before bedtime
Many eye conditions are hereditary, making it vital to know your family health history. A family history of diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration can increase your risk, so having this knowledge gives you the opportunity to share this with your Optometrist and take the appropriate precautions for your eye health.
You may think your vision is perfect but scheduling an annual eye exam with your Optometrist is the only way to guarantee you have healthy eyes. Vision problems are very common, and several patients do not realize their vision can advance with contacts or eyeglasses. Optometrists can also perform comprehensive dilated eye exams to take a closer look at your eyes to detect eye diseases that show no symptoms.
Good health starts with healthy nutrition. Eating fruits and vegetables can improve your eyesight. Mixing in nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, and vitamins C, E can prevent vision problems such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. Did you know that a vitamin shortage can also cause harm to your retinal function? Try the following foods for lunch or dinner to give yourself a well-balanced diet:
- Green leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, and collards
- Fish: salmon, tuna, trout, and halibut
- Nuts: walnuts, cashews, peanuts
- Seeds: chia and flax seeds
- Citrus fruits: lemons, oranges, and grapefruit
- Other foods: oysters, pork, carrots, sweet potatoes, and eggs
Protect Your Eyes
Protecting your eyes is key to their longevity since there are various factors that can negatively impact your vision.
- Digital Screens: In today’s digital world, your eyes are continuously exposed to digital screens such as computers, laptops, televisions, smartphones, and other handheld devices. It serves you well to use anti-reflective or blue protection lenses in your eyewear. Also, taking breaks from staring at your digital screens can provide relief to your eyes. Try the 20/20/20 rule; every 20 minutes look away from your digital screen about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This easy task can reduce eyestrain and protect your eyes.
- Eye Safety: A majority of eye injuries are from sports and home improvement projects. Wearing the right eye protection is critical to your vision. When participating in sports activities or doing yard work at home, make sure that you are wearing safety glasses, goggles, or eye guards to prevent injuries. Also, having a polycarbonate lens will shield your eyes as this material is stronger than other plastics.
- UV Protection: We all like to enjoy those beautiful sunny days outside, but do not forget to protect your eyesight from those powerful ultraviolet rays. Wearing prescription sunglasses can block these rays while preventing retinal damage. When selecting a sunglass always check to see if it has 100% UVA and UVB protection!
Not only is smoking terrible for your overall health, but it is also very harmful to your eyes. Smoking can increase your risk of developing optic nerve damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration. All of these eye care problems can lead to vision loss. Now is the time to quit smoking to improve your total health and vision.
Schedule your annual eye exam today at any of our convenient locations in Columbia, Jefferson City, and Osage Beach!