Preventative healthcare is an integral method for weight loss and disease prevention, but have you ever thought about how it applies to your eyes? You may not think about the health of your eyes often, but eye health is just as important as the other aspects of your health.
By focusing on keeping your eyes healthy, you can avoid damaging diseases, infections, decreased vision, and potentially blindness. Maintaining eye health sounds like a big commitment, but it’s actually fairly simple. Here are some tips to get you started:
Eat a Healthy Diet
A nutritious diet is important to all aspects of health, including your eyes. Incorporate foods with plenty of vitamin A, which is important to eye health,into your diet. Leafy greens like spinach and kale, foods high in beta carotene like sweet potatoes and red peppers, and non-meat proteins like beans and nuts are all good sources of vitamin A.
Pairing these foods with something high in fat, such as an egg or oil-based sauce or dressing, will help your body absorb vitamin A more efficiently. Carrots dipped in ranch dressing is a classic combination for a reason!
Protect Yourself from Harsh Environments
Many common daily activities are hard on your eyes. To protect your eyes while outdoors, be sure to wear sunglasses on sunny and windy days. Wear protective glasses or goggles if you’re performing a task that may have flying debris. Reduce the time spent on your devices, which can strain your eyes with small text and bright light. If you have to spend most of your time at work on a computer, be sure to take breaks and let your eyes rest.
Even using the air conditioner or heater in your home can harm your eyes, by drying out the air. Either restrict the amount of time you use them, or use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. Lack of hydration can also damage your eyes and keep them dry, so be sure to drink plenty of water.
See an Optometrist
Going to your optometrist regularly is critical to maintaining the health of your eyes. Make sure you go for routine eye exams and to update your prescription when necessary. Optometrists are also a great resource if you have a specific problem with your eyes, or if you want to consider laser eye surgery.
Even if you have perfect vision and don’t use corrective lenses, you should still visit the optometrist regularly. Optometrists can detect problems with your eyes that you may not be aware of. Common diseases like cataracts and glaucoma can lead to lasting vision problems if they aren’t caught early on.
How frequently do you need to get an eye exam? For the general adult population aged 18 to 60, optometrists recommend an exam every two years, but if you’re above the age of 60, wear glasses or contacts, or have a family history of eye disease, get an annual check up. Because those populations are at a higher risk for issues with their eyes, going to the optometrist every year will help ensure that any disease, infection, or irritation is caught before it becomes too difficult to treat.
It’s easy to take good vision for granted and to underestimate the importance of prioritizing eye health. Take the necessary steps to keep your vision healthy. Focusing on preventative care for your eyes now could help your vision stay in tact for years to come.