You may take your eyes for granted, especially if you don't wear glasses or contact lenses, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect them. Give your eyes some regular TLC to keep them healthy and reduce your risk of infections, eye strain, dry eye, age-related vision problems, and other harmful eye conditions.
Here are Clarkson Eyecare’s seven helpful eye care tips on improving your eye health.
Sunglasses help protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, which are present during the day regardless of weather or season. Wearing sunglasses can lower your risk of developing cataracts, which can develop more quickly when your eyes are exposed to UV rays.
Sunglasses also help shield the delicate skin around your eyes from the sunlight’s damaging effects. This can help delay the formation of wrinkles around your eyes. When shopping for sunglasses, look for ones that have 99 to 100% protection from both UVA and UVB light.
The germs that cause pink eye and other eye infections are spread easily. This makes following good hygiene important, as it can help you lower your risk of eye infections.
Eye care professionals recommend washing your hands before touching your eyes and to avoid rubbing your eyes. Don’t share your eye makeup or washcloths with other people.
Contact lens wearers should follow the care instructions when handling lenses, as wearing contacts put you at a higher risk for developing eye infections.
Spend a lot of time looking at your digital device? Chances are you may be experiencing computer-related eye strain. Give your eyes a break periodically by following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look up from your computer and focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Make this eye exercise a habit for less tired eyes at the end of the day.
It’s estimated that 90% of eye injuries could be prevented by wearing proper eye protection. Special protective eyewear— including sports and safety glasses or goggles — is designed to keep your eyes safe, unlike standard eyeglasses.
Don’t let your guard down when you’re at home; it’s estimated that about half of eye injuries occur around the house. Be sure to wear your safety glasses when necessary, regardless of the location. Keep a pair of protective glasses on you to use at the house and workplace.
Everyone should make comprehensive eye exams a routine. These exams let your eye doctor identify any signs of silent conditions capable of robbing your sight without notice. Eye exams are especially important for those over the age of 40 due to their higher risk of developing age-related conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
During the eye exam the doctor will apply eye drops to temporarily dilate your pupils. This makes it easier for your eye doctor to see the inside of your eye. Dilated eye exams can lead to early detection of harmful eye conditions, which you may be able to prevent with proper care.
Foods rich in vitamin A and antioxidants are great for keeping your eyes healthy. When at the grocery store, try purchasing produce that’s deep orange or dark green in color. Carrots and sweet potatoes are great examples of vegetables rich in Vitamin A.
If you enjoy leafy greens, try adding more kale to your diet. Kale is often labeled a “super food” and is rich in powerful antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants can help lower your risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, can also help prevent the development of age-related eye problems.
Smoking negatively impacts your eyes just like it impacts your lungs, skin, and oral health. People who smoke are more likely to make their existing eye conditions worse, including those with dry eye.
Tobacco smokers have a higher risk of developing age-related eye problems early, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
For better overall health — and for improved eye health — talk to your doctor about ways you can work to quit smoking.
A comprehensive eye exam is the most important part of maintaining your ocular health. Eye doctors can identify, prevent, and treat potentially harmful eye conditions during an eye exam.
Find a Clarkson Eyecare near you to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.