The Importance of Eye Health

A large number of people experience eye problems each year. Some can be addressed with glasses or lenses, while others may require surgery. The National Eye Institute predicts that the number of people affected by common eye disease doubled in the years between 2010 and 2020. 

As we age, our eyesight deteriorates, and diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma become more prevalent. There are, however, certain steps you can take to protect your vision, improve eyesight, and prevent some of the above-mentioned diseases.

How to Protect and Improve Your Vision

Be Mindful of Your Diet

You may have heard that carrots are good for your vision. This is true, but there are actually many other foods that can help maintain healthy eyesight. 

  • Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach can provide antioxidants that help prevent cataracts. 
  • Grapes can support healthy eyes by protecting the retina against damage caused by oxidative stress and preventing AMD. 
  • Eating fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids can also help maintain eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help manage inflammation and irritation associated with dry eye syndrome. 

Eating a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are both important for your vision. Obesity can lead to chronic conditions like diabetes, which can eventually result in vision loss. The University of Melbourne in Australia and Leeds Becket University in the United Kingdom discovered that weight loss can even reverse eye damage caused by diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. 

 Wear Protective Eyeware in the Sun

Ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun can cause serious damage to your eyes, so it is important to wear sunglasses when outside. Choosing sunglasses that block out 99%-100% of both UV and UVB radiation is the best way to ensure your eyes are protected from the sun. 

 Give Your Eyes a Break

Nowadays most people spend their days staring at a screen. When looking at a screen, we may often forget to blink,  eye fatigue or strain. This is why it is important to take regular breaks. The National Eye Institute recommends looking away from a screen after every 20 minutes. During your break, it is suggested that you look at something 20 feet away from you for at least 20 seconds. This practice is helpfully called the “20-20-20” rule. 

 Go for Regular Eye Exams

Getting regular eye exams is one of the best ways to prevent issues with your vision. Even though your eyes may appear healthy, there is no way to know for sure unless your eyes are examined by a professional. 

During a regular eye exam, your doctor will use dilating drops in your eyes in order to allow for more light to come in. It is much easier to notice any abnormalities during a dilated eye exam. Spotting eye conditions early can ensure better and more effective treatment. And proper glasses or contact prescriptions can help minimize eye strain. 

If you are experiencing any eye issues, or simply want to stay on top of your eye care, UAB Medical West can help. 

UAB Medical West is Looking into a Brighter Future with You 

Eye exams an important aspect of your overall medical care. If you’d like to be proactive, we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions or concerns regarding your eye health.