Many eye conditions and diseases that can lead to blurry vision and blindness are preventable – and you have more power in that prevention than you might think.
Take these little steps every day, and you’ll go a long way toward keeping your eyes healthy and your vision sharp:
Protect them from injury. Sports and some workplace environments can be dangerous places for the eyes! All it takes is a stray elbow, ball or finger on the court or gridiron, or dust and debris on the job site, to damage the cornea. Any physical barrier between your eyes and these hazards is better than none, but for the most effective protection, work with your eye doctor to identify protective eyewear that will work best for you.
Protect eyes from UV rays. Ultraviolet rays increase your risk of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts and even cancer of the eye. Look for sunglasses that are labeled as having full-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB radiation.
Feast for your eyes. Literally. You know those beautiful orange, yellow, green, red and purple hues in the produce section? The beta keratin, lutein, lycopene and other components that give vegetables their colors are also the nutrients responsible for keeping them functioning their best. So load up lunch with a rainbow!
Stay active. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases that can lead to blindness. You don’t have to make a seismic shift in your fitness regimen to make a difference: Just hit the sidewalk or the trail for 20 or 30 minutes most days to reap the benefits.
Quit smoking and vaping. Cigarette smoke puts you at greater risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, and both smoking and vaping worsen dry eyes. If you smoke or vape, get help quitting.
Wash your hands. Touching your face or eyes with dirty hands is a fairly reliable way to introduce contaminants or infections to your delicate eyes. To cut your risk, wash your hands any time you touch a dirty or potentially contaminated surface, as well as before and after handling contact lenses.
Give them a rest. When you’re working at your computer or focused on your cell phone, it’s natural to “forget” to blink. We need blinking: It’s our eyes’ way of staying lubricated and free of dust and debris that can cause damage. To thwart that damage, take frequent breaks from your electronic devices and remind yourself to blink more often. You can do this by syncing your blink with anything you expect to see often, such as phone notifications, certain punctuation or common words.
Integrate these practices into your daily life, and you’ll be doing your eyes a huge favor. And know that Missouri Eye Institute is here to help you stay on top of your changing eyes with thorough eye exams and LASIK vision correction.
Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients achieve freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule your LASIK consultation or cataract evaluation, or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.