Every year, Americans contract up to one million eye infections that require medical attention from a doctor. The good news is that it is possible to stave off these infections and other common eye problems by being proactive about your health. Here are a few ophthalmologist-approved things everyone can do.
Maintain An Active, Healthy Lifestyle
Pediatric eye doctors and optometrists with patients of all ages agree: maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy too. “In a new study, investigators found that ideal cardiovascular health, which is indicative of a healthy lifestyle, was associated with lower odds for ocular diseases especially diabetic retinopathy,” The Hindustan Times writes. The same study, published in the American Journal of Medicine (AJM), reveals that an active lifestyle can also significantly decrease the likelihood of glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. Overall, half of the 2.2 billion cases of impaired vision and blindness caused by these common eye diseases could be prevented with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
For optimal eye health, an eye doctor for adults generally suggests eating leafy greens, oily fish like tuna and salmon, and foods high in protein (try eggs, beans, and nuts). The Mayo Clinic recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and at least two days of strength training per week to reap the full health benefits of exercise — including improved vision and eye health.
Wear Proper Eyewear
In addition to exercising regularly and eating well, patients can also be proactive about wearing proper eyewear at all times.
This rule applies in more situations than you might think. First, if you require reading glasses or you are required to wear glasses for distance while you drive, do it. This prevents eye strain and keeps your eyes as healthy as possible for as long as possible. An eye doctor for adults can help as your vision worsens over time.
It is also important to wear protective eyewear when necessary. If you play sports, keep in mind what sports pose the most risk to your vision. For example, swimming and water-based sports are the most dangerous, according to America’s Best, and the most likely to cause injury to your eyes. Basketball is the second most dangerous, and sports or activities that involve any sort of projectile, like darts and paintball, are the third most likely to result in eye injury, especially without proper protective gear.
Similarly, it is wise to wear protective goggles while working on major home improvement projects or working in construction or with machinery. There are protective options for additional industries. For example, those working with computers all day can keep an eye out for blue light filtering glasses or anti-glare screen coverings to protect their eyes and prevent eye strain and headaches.
Finally, don’t forget about potential ill effects from the sun. “Too much UV exposure boosts your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration,” WebMD writes. Wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays. Ask an eye doctor for adults if you have any questions about protecting your eyes and day-to-day eyewear.
Be Smart About Your Screentime
These days, many of us are working from home at least part-time. That means it is more important than ever to be mindful of your screentime and protecting your eyes while using screens.
Start by setting up your workspace the right way. To reduce pain and eye strain, your monitor or laptop screen should be slightly below eye level. Purchase risers to lift screens up to optimal height if necessary. Keep screens at least an arm’s length away from your face, and practice the 20-20-20 rule. The 20-20-20 rule advises taking a short break every 20 minutes to look away from the screen. During that time, focus on any item that is at least 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. That will help prevent injury from continually looking at screens up-close.
While it is true that it is important to find a good eye doctor for adults, do not put them to work unnecessarily. Take care of your eyes. Ask your eye doctor what you can do to keep your eyes and your vision at their best.