Did you know that May is Healthy Vision Month? Your eyes need to be cared for and nurtured to continue to give you clear vision. There are several things that you can do maintain your visual health.
Give your diet a makeover
Piling your plate high with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins will help boost your eye health. Some of the most important nutrients for good vision are omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E, so try to increase your intake of leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens. Fatty fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, so look for recipes that include salmon, tuna and other oily fish. Nuts (especially walnuts) nourish the eyes as well as eggs, beans and other legumes. Oranges, citrus fruits and peppers are some of the best sources of vitamin C.
Wear your shades
Make sunglasses a part of your wardrobe 365 days a year. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes premature oxidation, or free radical damage, which can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. Shades that offer offer 99-100 percent UVA and UVB protection and wrap around the face will protect your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun.
Reduce digital eye strain
According to the Vision Council, over 31 percent of Americans suffer from digital eye strain. Digital screens produce blue light, harmful light waves that penetrate deep within your eyes and can cause permanent damage. Most cases of digital eye strain can be managed by taking specific precautions including adjusting your computer monitor, wearing blue light filtering lenses, using anti-glare screens, and downloading blue light filters for your electronic devices.
It is impossible to eliminate electronic devices in our digital world, but you can create good habits to protect your vision. Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at an object at least 20 feet away. Dry eye is a common side effect of digital eye strain because we tend to blink less often when staring at a computer screen. Try writing yourself a note to “Blink More” and put the post-it on your computer monitor. Even small steps like this can make a significant impact on your comfort as well as your eye health.
Make regular appointments with your eye doctor
The best gift you can give to your eyes is an annual comprehensive eye exam. Eye exams help detect eye diseases like glaucoma which often have no symptoms, as well as refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness and presbyopia. An eye exam also gives your eye doctor a glimpse into your overall wellness. It is not uncommon for ophthalmologists to identify chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension because these diseases often affect the eyes. So get a comprehensive eye exam and you’ll receive a mini check-up as a bonus!
You can boost your eye health one choice at a time. Healthy Vision Month is just one way to remind us to re-committing to healthy habits that help maintain clear eyesight.