Your eyes are beyond incredible. They are necessary for seeing and enjoying every aspect of the world around you. Having healthy eyes also plays a critical role in learning, development, and growth.
Unfortunately, you only have one set of eyes that can become irreparably damaged if you don’t take good care of them. For this reason, it’s essential to take steps to protect your eyes.
Not sure what it takes to keep your eyes happy and healthy? Keep reading for 11 eye care tips to try at any age!
1. Be On the Lookout for Any Vision Changes
If you’ve noticed any changes in your vision, talk to your eye doctor as soon as possible. Red flags to watch out for include an increase in the number of flashes and floaters you see, double vision, unusual light sensitivity, swelling, and sudden eye pain.
Although vision changes are often signs of shifts in your prescription, you should still see your eye doctor as a way to double-check what’s causing them. See your ophthalmologist immediately if you have blurry vision, loss of peripheral vision, a growing bump on your eyelid, and spots in your field of vision.
2. Take Regular Screen Breaks
Always rest your eyes if you spend a considerable amount of time in front of your smartphone, computer, laptop, or tablet. Spending too much time in front of digital devices can not only hurt your eyes, but it can cause other problems as well.
You may experience things like dry eyes, eye strain, and headaches. To prevent these issues, eye care experts recommend you take a screen break every 20 minutes, then look away at a distance of 20 feet for roughly 20 seconds.
Also, remember to blink often, as this will replenish necessary lubrication in your eyes. Looking at digital devices lowers your blink rate, even if you’re not aware that it’s happening!
3. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Eating well is not only good for your body, but it has excellent benefits for your eyes as well. There are plenty of foods high in nutrients that can prevent vision problems and improve your eyesight.
For example, adding more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can decrease your risk of macular degeneration. Bell peppers, dark leafy vegetables, and sweet potatoes can keep your eyes healthy and may help with slowing down the progression of cataracts.
Eggs, almonds, salmon, tuna, chia seeds, and berries are other foods that are vital for healthy eyes. Foods rich in zinc and vitamins C and E can help slow or halt the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration interferes with your eyes’ ability to produce sufficient tears, causing dry eyes, among other vision difficulties. Although it may seem simple, drinking more water is a surefire way to increase your hydration and ensure your eyes receive the proper nutrients.
When your eyes are too dry, they may feel itchy, gritty, or even water uncontrollably. Avoid this altogether by drinking enough water throughout the day.
5. Exercise Frequently
Physical exercise is excellent for your eyes. Exercising regularly can reduce your risk of developing common eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration.
Choosing to exercise frequently also keeps cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check. Specifically, cardiovascular exercises lower your intraocular pressure while increasing blood flow to the retina and optic nerve.
Keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure levels where they should be is an effortless way to improve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.
Are you worried that you don’t have enough time to exercise? It doesn’t take as much time as you may think!
Leave enough time for a 20 to 30-minute walk, four times every week, to increase your blood flow. If you don’t like walking, you can run, dance, ride your bike, or swim instead.
6. Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, one of the best things you can do for your eyes is quit smoking. Smoking increases your chances of developing sight-threatening diseases like diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.
When you quit smoking, you’ll be able to minimize the risk of developing these conditions.
7. Wear Sunglasses
If you think that sunglasses are only for sunny days, you’re wrong. Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays by wearing a pair of sunglasses that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
Excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause short-term snow blindness or photo conjunctivitis. It can also lead to the development of pterygium, cataracts, and possibly eyelid cancer.
8. Invest in Wide-Brimmed Hats
Sunglasses alone don’t provide adequate protection against the sun’s rays. Most shades often have gaps on the sides, exposing parts of your eyes to the sun.
To further protect your eyes from UV exposure, make sure you’re also wearing a wide-brimmed hat. These hats should be no less than 3 inches wide to offer the most protection.
9. Ensure You’re Wearing the Correct Prescription
Some people feel uncomfortable putting on their prescribed contacts or glasses. However, this can result in headaches, eyestrain, and even injury when you can’t see well.
If you don’t like wearing contact lenses or glasses, let your eye doctor know. Your ophthalmologist can suggest other alternatives, like a vision correction procedure. They may also be able to adjust your contacts or glasses to fit better.
10. Use Protective Eyewear
If you are completing a task that could result in harm to your eyes, wear protective eyewear and goggles. Make sure that whatever you wear suits the activity or task you’re doing.
It’s important regardless of whether you’re at work, home, or playing a sport. Wearing safety glasses lowers your risk for vision damage and eye injury, not to mention the chance of permanent blindness.
11. Schedule Routine Eye Exams
No matter how well you see, it’s essential to schedule routine eye exams. Eye exams help you stay on top of your eye health, and they can even be the first way to detect some health conditions.
Your optometrist will check for signs of eye issues during an eye exam, including conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and more.
Committed to Preserving Your Vision and Visual Health
The eye doctors at Evergreen Eye Center are committed to improving and preserving your vision health. Our practice has extensively experienced and highly knowledgeable ophthalmologists and optometrists to ensure all aspects of your visual health are in capable hands.
Are you looking to take the first step towards having healthier eyes? Schedule an appointment at Evergreen Eye Center in Tacoma, WA, today!