March is Save Your Vision Month, but what does it mean to save vision? There are many aspects that influence your eye health and all of them need to be considered to preserve your eyesight and avoid vision impairment through disease, accident, or degeneration. Several factors can contribute to healthy vision, including your overall health and the direct, deliberate treatment of your eyes. Your vision quality greatly impacts your quality of life and taking preventative steps to save your vision now will greatly benefit you in the future. Here are some of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy.
1. Eat Right. The foods you eat impact your overall health, and that includes eye health. People need a variety of vitamins and nutrients to fuel their bodies, and these also help with vision. Vitamins such as vitamin A, C, D, and E, as well as omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all benefit the eyes in different ways, including decreasing the risk of AMD, cataracts, and glaucoma as well as protecting the eyes from UV rays and increasing the amount of oils for adequate lubrication. Without an assortment of healthy, unprocessed foods, the eyes will not receive all of the nutrients needed to perform vital functions and they will become more susceptible to disease and discomfort.
2. Avoid Blue Light. Smartphones, TVs, computers, and all electronics emit blue light. This light is emitted in short waves that generate high amounts of energy. Recent studies have found that blue light creates digital eye strain, and can cause eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and irregular sleep patterns. Avoid blue light an hour before bed as well, limit screen time as much as possible, and get blue light filtering glasses (either prescription or non). Also try to give your eyes breaks by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Do this every 20 minutes for adequate eye rest that reduces strain.
3. Use Proper Eye Safety Gear. About 90% of eye injuries are preventable by wearing appropriate safety eyewear. The eyes are very delicate and when they become injured there is often no way to return them to their previous state, resulting in permanent vision impairment. Whether you are working a construction job, doing yard work, or cleaning with strong chemicals, your eyes need protection from debris and chemical fumes.
4. Protect Against UV Year Round. Sunglasses aren’t only for the summer. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses every time you go outside, especially in the winter when the UV rays are reflected off of the snow and amplified, will keep your eyes healthy for longer. UV rays are damaging to the eyes and can lead to cancer, cataracts, growths, or photokeratitis (sunburn of the eyes). Make sure that the sunglasses you wear all year are certified UV blocking.
5. Apply Makeup With Caution. Since makeup is so near to the eye it is easy for accidents to happen, especially with newly sharpened eyeliner or other hard or sharp tools. To avoid accidents, try to apply makeup with a steady hand and not in an environment that could cause you to poke your eye or get product in the eye (for example, in a car). Expired makeup should be discarded to avoid putting bacteria into your eye or the surrounding area. If you contract conjunctivitis (pink eye) throw out any makeup that has come into contact with your eye to avoid reinfection.
6. Quit Smoking. Smoking has been linked to a variety of eye diseases including glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, Graves ophthalmopathy, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). When you quit smoking, you will be helping all aspects of your health, including your vision.
7. Have Regular Eye Exams. The best way to keep your eyes healthy is to have annual eye exams that can detect and treat any eye health issues in the early stages of development. Catching any eye diseases or issues early will give you the best chance to slow the progression of diseases and to preserve your eyesight for longer.
If you want to save your vision and understand your eye health, visit a Calgary optometrist for an eye exam. It’s never too early, or too late, to have your visual health assessed and to take steps to improve your eye health. At My Optometrist, we offer comprehensive eye exams that assess the whole eye and visual system to detect any issues both within your eyes and within your overall health. To book an eye exam and help save your vision for years to come, book an eye exam at one of our three locations Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB, or you can call us or fill out the online contact form.
Q: What kind of eye exams does My Optometrist offer?
A: My Optometrist offers adult eye exams, seniors eye exams, and children’s eye exams.
Q: What happens at an eye exam?
A: A comprehensive adult eye exam (for those between 19 and 64 years of age) at My Optometrist Calgary includes:
Q: Should I take vitamins for my eye health?
A: Eating a nutrient-rich diet that supports vascular and neurological functions will be beneficial to your body and your eyes. Taking ocular or multivitamins may complement your daily diet for the following reasons:
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