May is Healthy Vision Month. Everyone values their eyesight, but it is not until you experience vision loss that you truly understand the priceless gift of healthy eyes. Here are some ways to protect your eyesight and enjoy a lifetime of good vision.
Clear vision begins with your plate
Say “yes” to nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E. Pile your plate high with green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens. Make salad a daily treat. Remember, the darker the greens, the better for your eye health. Salmon, tuna and other oily fish are wonderful sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 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.
Sport those Shades
Whether it is a sunny or cloudy day, ultraviolet rays can damage your vision and cause cataracts and macular degeneration. Choose sunglasses that offer 99-100 percent UVA and UVB protection and wrap around the face to fully protect the side of your eyes. Polarized lenses can reduce glare while you drive or when you are doing water sports.
Be Aware of Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain is an increasing problem today. Digital screens produce blue light, harmful light waves that penetrate deep within your eyes and can cause permanent damage. Ways to reduce digital eye strain include adjusting your computer monitor, wearing blue light filtering lenses, using anti-glare screens, and downloading blue light filters for your electronic devices.
It is also essential that you take regular breaks from your computer. Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at an object at least 20 feet away. Better yet, take a walk down the hallway. It will increase circulation, help you get some exercise and let your eyes rest and rejuvenate. Write yourself a note to “Blink More” and put the post-it on your computer monitor. Staring at a screen causes your blink rate to decrease and can cause eye irritation and dryness.
Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly
Nothing replaces a thorough comprehensive eye exam. A full eye examination is one of the best ways to preserve healthy vision. Eye exams help detect eye diseases like glaucoma which often have no symptoms, as well as refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness. An eye exam is also a window into your overall health. 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 for your overall wellness (Source: Web MD).
Small, daily choices can have a cumulative effect on your vision. Eat well, wear sunglasses, protect your eyes from strain, and keep in contact with your eye care professional to enjoy clear vision your whole life long.