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Tips for Practicing Healthy Eye Care Habits

Your eyes help you see the world around you. For instance, you take in the beauty and wonders of nature. You get to capture the smile of your family for years to come. Plus, you need your vision for work, play, driving, reading, and so much more. With so much riding on your vision and the health of your eyes, you should take every step possible to preserve your vision and the health of your eyes with these tips.

Wear Sunglasses

To protect your eyes from the damaging UV light from the sun, you should always wear sunglasses when you're out in the sun for prolonged periods.

When you expose your eyes to too much UV light, you increase your chances of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Ideally, you should wear sunglasses that block out between 99 and 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation for the optimal level of protection.

Wear Protective Glasses

If you have a job that puts you at risk of an eye injury or perform household tasks like weed whacking, you should wear protective glasses the entire time to shield your eyes from an object penetrating them. Certain sports may require protective eyewear as well.

Stop or Avoid Smoking

Smoking not only affects the health of your heart and lungs, but it also affects your eyes. When you smoke, you're more at risk for certain eye health problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Some of these issues may lead to blindness.

Make it a priority to stop as soon as possible if you're currently a smoker. On the other hand, if you don't currently smoke, avoid ever starting.

Eat Healthily

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Your eyes need certain nutrients for optimal health.

For example, vitamin A may prevent you from suffering from night blindness, as noted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Your body also requires vitamin A for corneal health. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means this vitamin may help protect against cataracts. In addition, you should consume enough B complex vitamins to reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration.

Strive to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Salmon and tuna are excellent sources of this nutrient as well.

Ultimately, you should eat a balanced diet consisting of protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. If you worry that you're not consuming enough nutrients, consider taking a supplement.

Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Your weight plays a role in your overall health, which is how it affects the health of your eyes. When you're overweight, you're more prone to diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These chronic conditions can lead to certain eye problems, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Exercise Regularly

You should strive to exercise at least 30 minutes per day. You don't have to exercise for 30 minutes straight if you don't have the time. You could exercise in 10-15 increments, as you have time.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you could increase your likelihood of developing diabetes and hypertension. Both of which could increase your risk of various eye health problems.

Don't Wear Contacts Longer Than Instructed

Contacts that are intended for daily wear should be removed each night and cleaned thoroughly. Single-use disposable lenses are one-time-use only lenses and should never be worn overnight or multiple times. The only contacts you should wear overnight are extended-wear contacts.

When you wear your contacts for longer than instructed, you could develop an infection. This habit could also lead to hypoxia, corneal stem cell damage, and corneal ulcers. Continuing this habit could lead to chronic eye inflammation, which can cause you to develop contact lens intolerance.  

Make sure you always wash your hands before handling your contacts. Then, rinse your lenses off with solution and soak them. In addition, you should wash your contact storage container thoroughly on a regular basis.

Visit the Eye Doctor for Routine Visits

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An eye doctor can detect minor vision deficits as well as eye health problems. In some cases, early detection can prevent a serious issue, including complete vision loss. Your physician may intervene and either stop or slow the progression of the condition.

People who have a vision deficit should see the eye doctor once per year for a routine examination. However, if you don't have any vision problems, how often you visit is based on age.

For instance, if you're between the ages of 20 and 39, you should visit every five years. People who are 40 to 54 should visit every two to four years. Moreover, if you're 55 to 64, you should schedule a routine appointment every one to three years.

Patients who have diabetes or another similar condition that increases their risk of eye problems may need to visit more frequently, which is something you'll need to speak with your practitioner about.

Get Enough Sleep Each Night

In general, an adult requires at least seven hours of sleep each night. As you probably already know, your mind and body heal themselves during periods of rest. Your eyes do the same. When you don't get enough sleep, your eyes may become itchy and dry. They might even look bloodshot. When your eyes aren't producing enough tears, you're more at risk for an eye infection.

Additionally, you're more prone to becoming overweight and suffering from certain health conditions if you don't get enough sleep. These health conditions are the same ones that make you more prone to certain eye conditions.

Give Your Eyes Periods of Rest

Staring at the computer screen, your phone, or tablet can lead to computer eye syndrome, which may cause pain and discomfort. Some people experience headaches and nausea as well. While there aren't any known long-term effects, you don't have to suffer. Instead, get up and move, or you could just turn your head away from the screen for periods of time.

As an optometry-centered practice, we understand eye health. We can provide you with routine examinations and screenings. However, that isn't all it takes. You need to take steps to keep your eyes healthy at home, too.

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