Eye health extends beyond reading an eye chart correctly. The eyes are like every other part of the body—many factors go into their health and function. However, many people take their vision and overall eye health for granted, overlooking annual eye exams that can protect the long-term health of their eyes and detect other health problems. Below are some everyday habits that can help protect vision health outside of the eye doctor’s office.
1. You are what you eat.
Eating healthy is necessary for a strong body, but certain foods can help keep eyes healthy too. The antioxidants in coffee are beneficial to eye health as well as eggs, leafy greens, berries, and cold-water fish such as salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help prevent dry eyes and keep the retina healthy.
2. Protect yourself.
Did you know that 90 percent of sports-related injuries affect the eyes? Any type of safety eyewear will protect you including sunglasses, safety glasses, eye guards, and safety shields. It's very important to wear protective lenses or goggles that have UV protection if you work in a hazardous environment like a construction zone or workshop or participate in ball sports or extreme sports.
3. The magic isn't in the makeup.
Sleeping with makeup on is never a good idea. For example, allergic reactions, dry eyes, loss of eyelashes, toxic heavy metals, and bacterial infections can occur if makeup is not removed and builds up. Removing that old mascara, eye shadow, or eyeliner not only promotes eye health, but it's good for your skin too. Out of makeup remover? Try using avocado.
4. Just walk away.
"Computer vision syndrome" and digital eye strain are very real and affect 75 percent of computer workers, leading to muscular strain, muscular stress, and eye discomfort. Wearing computer glasses, taking a break, magnifying text, blinking frequently, and making sure the screen is 20 to 28 inches away are all ways to prevent uncomfortable symptoms.
5. Doctor knows best.
When it comes to eye health, one of the greatest ways to protect yourself is with annual comprehensive eye exams. Compared to a vision screening that only tests vision for acuity, a comprehensive eye exam checks for acuity as well as overall eye health. In addition to determining whether you need glasses or contacts, eye doctors will check for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss. Exams can even lead to early detection of other health concerns such as diabetes or heart conditions, so it’s important to make time for that annual in-person exam. Need an eye doctor? It's easy to find one near you and schedule your annual exam.
These habits and steps can ensure eye health is top of mind at work, school, or play. Eyes are affected by almost everything we do during the day, from looking at screens to working out, and they’re the only ones we get. Taking care of them should be a top health priority for the whole family.