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How Can I Keep My Eyes Healthy?

8 Helpful Tips for Having Strong Peepers!

Vision changes or problems can be very stressful, if not downright scary. We depend upon our eyesight constantly, and the thought of seeing blurry or experiencing painful vision is always troubling. While you may exercise to keep your body strong, are you aware that there are also ways to help keep your eyes strong? Our Ellicott City eye care specialists want to help you preserve your quality vision for as long as possible. So we put together the following guidelines for maintaining eye health:
1. Don’t skip your regular eye exam
Many people don’t visit their eye doctor until they notice a problem. However, many eye problems don’t present symptoms until they have progressed to a late, more serious stage. Diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration can remain silent for a long while – but when diagnosed early, treatment is much more successful! In addition, if you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, an eye exam will ensure that you are still seeing crisp and clear.
2. Eat foods that are good for eye care
A nutritious diet will promote overall health and top-notch eye health. Certain nutrients are particularly beneficial for your vision, such as lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. How can you include these nutrients naturally into your daily nosh? Fortunately, it’s easy. Some tasty ideas include: add avocado to your sandwich, snack on berries, oranges and nuts, choose brown rice instead of white, eat broccoli and spinach, toss collard greens, kale and chard into a fresh salad, and drizzle flaxseed oil over your veggies. Fish, such as mackerel, salmon, sardines and tuna are all great sources of omega-3s. Quinoa and beans are also filled with eye-healthy nutrients.
3. Clean your contact lenses properly
Your risk of eye health problems increases significantly if you wear contact lenses. When you don’t follow proper eye care and disinfecting practices for contacts, they can introduce harmful bacteria and debris into your eyes, which can lead to eye infection. If you wear daily or weekly disposable lenses, be sure to toss them out according to schedule.
4. Stop staring
Digital screens encourage us to gaze at one spot for hours on end. A recent American study reported that people in the US look at screen for over 7 hours per day, on average. Why is this bad? The more time you spend staring, the higher your risk of eye fatigue and eye strain. Our Ellicott City eye care professionals recommend that you give your peepers a break every 20 minutes. Lift your eyes and look into the distance for 20 seconds.
5. Don’t smoke
Add eyes to the long list of body organs that can be harmed by smoking. Smoking is linked strongly to an increased risk of macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage. All of these eye conditions can lead to blindness.
6. Put on some shades
Sunglasses are just as important for your eyes as sunscreen is for your skin. The sun’s harmful UV rays can raise your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration in the future. Keep in mind that the effects of UV rays are cumulative, so wearing sunglasses today can impact your eye health years down the road. Invest in sunglasses that block a minimum of 99% of UVA and UVB rays.
7. Wear specialty, sports and safety eyewear
If you work with hazardous substances or airborne materials, protect your delicate eyes with safety glasses or goggles. Sports that involve whizzing balls, sticks or rackets, such as ice hockey, lacrosse and racquetball, can lead easily to eye injury. Sports goggle with polycarbonate lenses will block your eyes from unfortunate crashes.
8. Brew fresh coffee and tea
Yes, you read that right. Experts currently claim that drinking two servings of caffeinated drinks daily can protect against dry eyes. How’s that for tasty and aromatic eye care?

Don’t take your vision for granted! Healthy eyes are an integral part of a healthy body, and contribute a lot towards your quality of life. For more tips on how to keep your eyes healthy, book an eye exam and consult with our Ellicott City eye doctor.