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healthy habits for better eyesight

10 Healthy Habits to Adopt for Better Eyesight and Vision

Any lifestyle choice contributing to your overall health and well-being will benefit eye fitness and vision. However, some choices offer even more advantages to preventing or delaying deterioration of your eyesight by being proactive and effective. The following ten good habits for eyes can make a big difference in your eye health.

  1. Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Examination Annually

  2. Most vision and eye disorders progress so gradually, you won’t notice problems until the particular disorder is in an advanced stage. Glaucoma is one of these asymptomatic eye diseases that may present no symptoms for 10, 15 or 20 years. By this time, your peripheral vision is starting to diminish, and damage to the optic nerve is irreversible. Additionally, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy require yearly monitoring to detect the onset of these diseases and begin treatment.

  3. Learn About Your Family’s Vision and Eye Health History

  4. Do you know if your grandparents suffered from glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration? Are your parents nearsighted or farsighted? Do they wear bifocals? Many diseases, including eye diseases, are genetic and could be passed on to you, your children or even their children. Knowing your family’s vision history is also important to your eye doctor, who may suggest extra testing meant for detecting inherited eye diseases.

  5. Try New Food Habits for Healthy Eyes

  6. Carrots are one of nature's perfect foods, containing many health benefits involving heart and eye health. Offering rich amounts of an antioxidant called beta-carotene, carrots may help decrease the risk of cancer, diabetes and macular degeneration.

    Other eating habits for healthy eyes include consuming turkey regularly — turkey provides zinc and niacin to protect against cataracts — piling on the spinach, which contains zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants beneficial to macula health, and eating salmon once or twice a week since it is loaded with omega-3 fats which support health of blood vessels in your eyes.

  7. Stay Physically Active and Watch Your Weight

  8. Physical activity not only burns calories and helps maintain a healthy weight, but it also contributes to eye health. Serious chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol/atherosclerosis and heart disease can directly affect your vision by interfering with blood flow to your eyes. Being overweight may also induce glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy, two eye disorders primarily caused by high blood pressure and unregulated diabetes.

  9. Protect Your Eyes From Sunlight
  10. Exposing your eyes to excessive sunlight invites genetic damage to your eye’s tissues and components. Neglecting to wear protective eyewear outside in full or partial sunlight is known to increase your risk of suffering cataracts, especially after age 60. Cataracts are clumps of proteins that cloud the lens and blur your vision progressively. Unless removed surgically, cataracts can cause severely interfere with vision.

  11. Don’t Smoke!

  12. Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of chemicals toxic to your overall health. Smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy — if you have diabetes — and optic nerve damage indicative of glaucoma. Smoking also contributes to chronically dry eyes, corneal ulcerations if you wear contact lenses and uveitis, an eye inflammation irritating the inside of your eye that increases your risk for glaucoma and cataracts.

  13. Wash Your Hands Before Touching or Rubbing Your Eyes

  14. Your eyes are comprised of constantly moist tissues that make it easy for bacteria and viruses to infiltrate and infect. When you touch your eyes with unwashed fingers, millions of germs transfer from your fingers to your eyes. While most of them are harmless, some may attach to eye tissues and reproduce rapidly, causing infections such as conjunctivitis, styes and keratitis.

  15. Wear Protective Eyewear at Work

  16. Wearing protective eyewear in work environments is often mandated for good reasons. Unfortunately, many of us avoid wearing work-related protective eyewear because it is uncomfortable and inconvenient, choosing instead to continue performing tasks that carry the risk of eye injury. The U.S. Bureau of Labor reports over 20,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace every year, ranging from eye strain and foreign objects in the eye to serious trauma resulting in permanent vision impairment.

  17. Make Sure You Get Enough Zzzzzs

  18. Lack of sleep may increase blood pressure, promote weight gain and prevent you from engaging in healthy habits for eyes. When you are tired all day, you crave sugary, high-fat foods to give you energy. You also aren’t motivated to exercise or take a walk after dinner. Consequences of not getting your eight hours in regards to your eyes involve an increased risk for glaucoma, worsening refractive errors and age-related macular degeneration.

  19. See Your Eye Doctor Immediately If You Experience Sudden Vision Changes

  20. If you start seeing flashes of light, stars or other vision anomalies, this could indicate something is wrong in the brain. Strokes or tumors may be inhibiting blood flow to the brain area responsible for interpreting images sent by the retina.

    Prince William Eye Associates truly cares about your eye health and vision. To schedule an appointment , please call us today at 703-361-6151. We service people in the Manassas, Gainesville, Woodbridge, Nokesville, and Bristow, VA area.

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