Sitting too close to the TV; reading in low-light; wearing the wrong eyeglass prescription. We’ve all heard the warnings about what will harm your vision, whether they’re hard truths, or myths perpetuated by well-meaning moms, but we rarely hear advice regarding what we can do that actually protects or improves our vision and eye health. Obviously, as your local eye doctor, our total focus is optimal eye health; so it seems only natural that we should share the tips that we know helps to protect our eyesight. First up, get a full eye exam from your optometrist every year, and make sure to keep in mind the following:
- Stop smoking. If you are a smoker, the damage you are doing to your eyes is often irreversible. Smokers experience both macular degeneration and cataracts at higher levels than do the rest of the population. Stop now to protect your vision for years to come.
- Wear sunglasses. Though watching TV up close is not necessarily bad for your vision, spending hours outdoors without protection is, without a doubt. The sun’s ultraviolet rays damage your eye’s lens, increasing your risk for developing cataracts.
- Watch what you eat. The vision benefits of carrots is not an old wive’s tale. Where they do provide much needed Vitamin A, they work in conjunction with other fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds to provide all of the vitamins and minerals that are necessary for good eye health. Leveling out your blood sugar is imperative to life-long healthy vision however. Diabetes often damages eyes and causes blindness by constricting the blood vessels that feed the eyeball itself.
- Exercise. According to a study in the British Journal of Opthalmology, regular physical exercise is as good for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. The conclusion was that those who walked even just 30 minutes a day were 70% less likely to develop macular degeneration.