Your eyes are one of the most essential parts of your body. Your ophthalmologist wants to ensure you understand how to care for your eyes properly. Knowing this information makes it much easier to maintain healthy vision and eye health for many years.
Keep reading to learn what your ophthalmologist wants you to know about keeping your eyes healthy!
Get Regular Eye Exams
The easiest way to keep your eyes healthy is with eye exams. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a baseline exam at age 40, then regular exams every 2-4 years for people under 60, and every 1-3 years for people over 60.
At your eye exam, your ophthalmologist will check your vision using charts. They will also evaluate your eyes’ health with specialized instruments and do tests to check for glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye conditions.
Diagnosing any problems early is crucial for preventing vision loss.
Know Your Family Eye History
Be aware if you have a family history of eye conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or retinal issues. Having a family history could increase your risk for them.
Your eye doctor may warrant closer monitoring and early treatment. Inform your ophthalmologist of any family eye conditions to ensure they can adequately evaluate any risks and monitor your eyes as necessary.
Wear Protective Eyewear
When playing sports or doing activities that increase your risk of an eye injury, wear appropriate protective eyewear like sports goggles or sunglasses. You should also wear eye protection when using hazardous tools or chemicals.
UV-blocking sunglasses are also important when outside to prevent certain eye conditions later in life. Protecting eyes from trauma and excessive UV exposure will help keep them healthier.
Quit Smoking and Manage Chronic Conditions
Smoking increases the risks of cataracts, optic nerve damage, macular degeneration, and eye irritation. If you haven’t already quit to be healthier, quitting smoking can also make your eyes healthier.
You also need to properly manage any chronic medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Mismanaging your diabetes can result in diabetic retinopathy.
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious eye condition that can severely affect your eyes and ability to see.
Limit Screen Time and Take Frequent Breaks
As computers and other devices become part of everyday life, digital eye strain is a growing problem. Symptoms include eye fatigue, blurry vision, headaches, and neck/shoulder pain.
Limiting your screen time is one of the best ways to mitigate eye strain. You can also use the 20-20-20 rule.
Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Using this rule helps reduce eyestrain and gives your eyes a much-needed break.
Maintain a Nutritious Diet
Keeping your eyes healthy can come from what you eat as well. Eat a well-balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients.
Focus on antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy greens, eggs, and citrus fruits. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish are also beneficial.
A proper diet supports good eye circulation and protects against damaging inflammation.
Stay Active and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is another way to keep your eyes healthy and working as they should. Sedentary lifestyles and obesity can increase risks of macular degeneration and other eye issues.
Regular exercise may also help prevent diabetes linked to certain eye conditions.
Wear Sunglasses Outdoors
Protect your eyes from excessive UV exposure by wearing sunglasses outdoors, especially if it’s sunny. Overexposure to UV light can increase risks of cataracts, macular degeneration, and growths on the eyes later in life.
Look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA/UVB rays to provide adequate protection.
Practice Good Posture
Bad posture isn’t doing anything good for you, including your eyes. Slumping over while looking at devices can lead to eye strain and symptoms like irritation, dryness, headaches, and neck pain.
Be mindful of your posture and hold devices at proper reading distance to reduce eyestrain. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to make sure you’re taking enough breaks.
Proper posture also improves circulation to the head and neck, benefiting your eyes.
Blinking spreads tears across your eyes to keep them lubricated, preventing dryness and irritation. But looking at screens reduces your blink rate, causing digital eye strain.
Make an effort to blink frequently, especially when using devices. The 20-20-20 rule helps keep your eyes healthy and makes sure you’re blinking enough.
Clean Your Eyelids Properly
Eyelid hygiene can have a direct impact on how healthy your eyes are. Your eyelids can collect oil, dead skin, and debris, blocking glands and follicles surrounding the lashes.
Use a gentle eyelid cleanser daily to remove buildup and prevent inflammation or infection of the oil glands. Talk to your eye doctor if you try an eyelid cleanser and still have inflammation.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
If your eyes are irritated, it may seem like rubbing them is the solution, but it’s not. Rubbing your eyes only irritates them more.
It can also spread bacteria and viruses and worsen existing infections. Instead of rubbing your eyes, try using artificial tears or eye drops.
Keeping these in purses or on you will help you avoid giving in to the temptation of rubbing your eyes.
Drink plenty of water to reduce your chances of developing dry eyes. Staying hydrated will keep your eyes more comfortable and help you feel better.
Keeping your eyes hydrated will allow you to produce higher-quality tears, making you more comfortable and keeping your eyes healthier.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping enough will give your eyes plenty of time to rest and repair after a long day’s work. Not getting enough sleep can cause irritation and exacerbate dry eye issues.
Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night to keep your eyes most functional. Avoid using electronic devices before bed, have a set bedtime, and follow good sleep hygiene to have your eyes performing their best.
Consider Eye Supplements
Eye supplements may help your eyes. You can discuss taking these with your ophthalmologist.
Antioxidants like lutein/zeaxanthin, omega-3s, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E may help certain eye conditions or prevent age-related vision issues. However, check with your primary care physician before starting any supplements.
By being proactive with routine eye care, protection, rest, good posture, proper cleansing, hydration, and healthy habits, you give your eyes the best chance to stay healthy. Are you ready to make your eyes a priority?
Take the first step by requesting an appointment today at Herschel LASIK & Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL!