When it comes to our health, we may visit our doctors and nurses regularly to make sure our bodies are healthy. But what about our eyes? They’re not always top of mind, but they’re just as important! May is Healthy Vision Month, an observance coordinated by the National Eye Institute to motivate Americans to make their eye health a priority and educate them about steps they can take to protect their vision.
Here are a few ways you can help protect your vision
- Get an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam.
- Know your family’s eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, since some are hereditary.
- Eat right to protect your sight: In particular, eat plenty of dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, and fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, albacore tuna, trout, and halibut. Visit Eye Cook for eye healthy recipes.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home, such as painting, yard work, and home repairs.
- Quit smoking or never start.
- Wear sunglasses that block 99 -100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
- Wash your hands before taking out your contacts and cleanse your contact lenses properly to avoid infection.
- Practice workplace eye safety.
Taking care of your eyes also may benefit your overall health. People with vision problems are more likely than those with good vision to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and strokes, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression.
In addition to your comprehensive dilated eye exams, visit an eye care professional if you have
- Decreased vision.
- Eye pain
- Drainage or redness of the eye
- Double vision
- Floaters (tiny specks that appear to float before your eyes)
- Circles (halos) around light sources or if you see flashes of light
For this Healthy Vision Month, take care of your eyes to make them last a lifetime.
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