Good eye sight is about much more than simply having the right prescription for your eye glasses or contact lenses. Knowing the right way to take care of your eyes when they are dry or irritated, how to eat right to ensure good eyesight in the long term and how to protect your eyes against UV radiation from the sun, can help you maintain excellent eye health from your first birthday, to your 120th, and everything in between. Dr. Ann Gallagher of Eyes on 40 in Ellicott City, Maryland has compiled a helpful list of some of her top tips for keeping your eyes in the best shape possible, always:
Good Food for Great Sight
Everyone knows you are what you eat,but what many people don't realize, is that what you eat is how you see! Dr. Gallagher often advises her patients to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to help their vision remain healthy. She comments, “Spinach, kale and other leafy greens, and dark berries like blueberries and blackberries all do a great deal for protecting your eyes against serious eye conditions such as macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly population. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are also an excellent way to promote eye health by reducing inflammation in the blood vessels of the eyes, which, along with proper control of blood sugar can also protect against diabetic retinopathy. Salmon, tuna and flax seeds are excellent examples of foods rich in these essential fatty acids.”
Sunglasses: Vision Health Never Looked So Cool
Along with the well known danger of sunburn, UV radiation can also be dangerous for your eyes. The most common threat is a kind of “sunburn of the eye,” called photokeratitis. This painful condition can cause blinking to be painful and your eyes to feel grainy, along with many other symptoms.
What's more, your eyes are affected in the long term every time they are exposed to UV light, even if no short term problems result. The more your eyes are exposed to UV rays over your lifetime, the greater your chances become of developing serious eye problems as you get older, including conditions such as age related macular degeneration and cataracts.
The right pair of sunglasses can significantly reduce the amount of UV radiation that enters your eyes when you go out, and considerably lower your risk for photokeratitis and long term damage to your eyes. Polarized sunglasses can also significantly reduce glare from reflective surfaces that may otherwise harm your eyes, as well as reduce eyestrain, headaches and fatigue, from squinting in overly bright settings.
An Eye Exam Every Year, Means Good Sight for A Hundred.
It seems that most people don't come to see their eye doctor unless they notice something wrong with their eyes. This is a potentially sight threatening practice. Many serious eye problems can come on slowly and you may not notice a difference in your vision until it's too late, and significant and irreversible damage has already been caused. The best way to prevent this type of creeping vision damage is to prevent conditions that cause it in the first place. Proper preventive care is key here. Just like children, adults, and especially those over the age of 40, should have eye exams regualrly every single year. This is particularly useful in preventing age-related eye conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Early detection can significantly increase your chances of satisfactory results.
For more information, contact Dr. Gallagher today.