The eyes are an incredibly important part of the human body, and a vital part of day to day life. While people exercise to keep their bodies healthy, many people don’t realize they should also be working to keep their eyes healthy. Though you don’t need to go as far as exercising your eyes, there are some basic steps you should be taking to maintain their health.
Have Regular Comprehensive Eye Exams
Though you may think that your vision is fine, having a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to know for sure. Optical Group, Dr Constance Odiase recommends that you have a complete eye exam once a year, and possibly more frequently depending on your age, whether you currently wear corrective lenses, and other risk factors. While you may think your vision is good because you can see, you might not even realize when your eyes are straining day to day, which damages your eye health over time. Even when you don’t realize there is a problem, an eye exam and the proper prescription of corrective lenses could improve your vision tenfold.
Children under 19
Children should have their first eye exam at 6 months, then again at 3 years old, and once more before they start school. Children with risk factors such as family history of eye disease, developmental delays, or premature birth should be examined more frequently, as well as children who wear corrective lenses. Early childhood eye exams will help develop and maintain basic visual skills.
Adults with good eye health should revisit a clinic for a comprehensive examination every two years. Adults with risk factors such as a family history of eye disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, taking certain prescription medication, or previous eye injuries or surgery, should be examined more frequently, as well as adults who wear corrective lenses.
Adults over 65 years old should have their eye health examined at least once a year, regardless of risk factors, as eye health can degrade with age.
Get your Eyewear Adjusted
If a comprehensive eye exam determines that you need corrective lenses, that is not the final step. You should have your eyewear adjusted every three months, and Optical Group provides free eyewear adjustments to patients and customers at all times. As glasses can shift and stretch with wear, having your eyewear adjusted to refit your face perfectly is vital to your eye health.
Wear your Prescription Eyewear
When a doctor prescribes corrective lenses for you, it is because you need them. Wearing glasses or contacts that have been prescribed for you will not only improve your vision but will slow or stop any further eye damage. Forgetting to wear your corrective lenses can strain your eyes and result in headaches, poor vision, and further eye damage.
If you wear prescription glasses, you can also get prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun while maintaining optimal vision. Even if you do not wear prescription glasses, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Top quality sunglasses can protect your eyes from 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
Eat Eye Healthy Foods
Did you know that certain foods are actually better for your eyes than others? Healthy eyes start with a healthy body, and that means the food you eat every day. Studies show that nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and zinc can help you fight off age related eye problems. Foods such as non-meat protein sources, green leafy vegetables, oily fish, and citrus fruits can help you reach your daily dose of these nutrients. Diabetes is also the leading cause of adult blindness in North America, so a healthy overall body and diet can help you avoid vision problems.
Avoid Eye Strain
Even if you do not wear prescription lenses, straining your eyes on a consistent basis can cause long term damage. With the prevalence of computers and electronic devices in today’s world, it is important that you do not let your eyes suffer from computer strain. Staring at a screen too long can cause blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble focusing, headaches, and shoulder and neck pain, and long term damage if this happens daily. To avoid computer related eye strain you should choose a comfortable seated position, place the computer so that you are looking slightly down at it, and take breaks every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you work on your computer daily for prolonged periods of time there is a free app you can install called Time Out Free which will remind you to take these breaks at set intervals and help avoid eye strain.
Generally, maintaining your eye health is simple. You just need to be aware of the potential sources of damage and strain and make sure you protect yourself against them. The best thing you can do for your eyes is maintain a healthy body, and visit your optometrist regularly so that any issues can be caught and treated at an early stage.