In Your Line of Sight
Keeping eye health a priority.
Your vision is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted as long as it’s working the way it’s supposed to. But when eyesight fails, infection sets in, or disease takes over, you’re reminded of the blessing of healthy eyes. Don’t wait until you notice something’s wrong to take care of your eyes. Each day there are simple ways to protect the health of your sight, and it’s more than just eating carrots.
Here are a few tips along those lines.
Regular Eye Exams
Visits to your local optometrist aren’t just for those with poor vision or eye conditions. Children and adults should have regular preventative check-ups throughout their lives. Unless there’s a history of eye problems or certain medical conditions, the schedule recommended by the American Academy or Ophthalmology is as follows:
- Kids should have their vision examined by their pediatrician or eye doctor at birth, at six months old, at three years old, and before kindergarten.
- Adults should see an eye doctor once in their 20s and twice in their 30s.
- Adults who have hit age 40 should see an eye doctor at least every other year.
Regular eye exams offer early detection of vision problems, health conditions, and eye diseases. Should you have sudden changes in vision, eye pain, or discomfort see an eye specialist as soon as possible.
Kale Over Carrots
Carrots have a reputation for being good for your eyes, but dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are even better. Eggs, almonds, berries, and citrus fruits are also rich in antioxidants that reduce your risk for macular degeneration and cataracts. Additionally, fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and anchovies help prevent dry eye syndrome and reduce inflammation.
An accident can happen in a split second. All it takes is a slip of the hand or a misaimed hockey puck for you to lose your vision. When you’re playing certain sports, doing projects around the house, lighting fireworks, using chemicals, or walking on the job site, wear protective safety glasses, eye guards, or goggles. Keep saline solution in your medicine cabinet for when accidents happen. Flush your eye with the solution for 10 to 15 minutes to remove chemicals or debris.
The sun’s harmful rays aren’t just bad for your skin, they’re damaging to your eyes as well. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can lead to macular degeneration and cataracts. Prevent ultraviolet rays from reaching your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block both UV-B and UV-A radiation.
Take an Eye Break
Staring at the computer screen, the television, a book, or a project you’re working on can fatigue and dry out your eyes. Every few minutes, it’s important to give your eyes a break. Look away from what you’ve been staring at and blink a few times to moisten your eyes.
To prevent infection and illness, keep your hands away from your face and eyes. Before removing or putting in contact lenses, wash your hands. Disinfect your lenses with proper solution and store them in their sealed case. It’s important to use fresh solution each time you clean your lenses and replace your case every few months.
Indoor heat during the cold months, dry air on airplanes, and pet dander on carpet and furniture can all contribute to dry eyes. Keep your eyes moist and free from irritation by running a humidifier in your home while the heat is on, keep pets off furniture and vacuum often, and pack lubricating drops when traveling. Drinking moderate amounts (less than two servings) of caffeinated coffee or tea has also been found to protect the eyes from dryness.
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