Your vision is an important part of life, yet a surprising number of people take it for granted — at least until they start to lose it. Although getting the right prescription for your glasses or contact lenses helps you see more clearly, it is no substitute for healthy eyes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your chance of eye injuries and eye diseases.
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors
Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation. The sun’s ultraviolet rays contribute to the development of serious problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The best sunglasses protect your eyes from at least 98 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
- Use protective eyewear
Many eye injuries occur while playing sports, doing home improvement projects or operating machinery at work. The only way to protect your eyes from impact dangers, chemicals and airborne particles such as sawdust is to wear quality goggles. Injuries can occur no matter how careful you are, so protect yourself even if you feel like you’re overdoing it.
- Eat an eye-healthy diet
You can protect your eyes from within by eating a healthy diet. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends antioxidants, such as those found in dark green leafy vegetables, for good eye health. Foods rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are recommended by the American Optometric Association (AOA).
- Have regular eye exams
Most ophthalmic professionals recommend a complete eye exam every two years to check for glaucoma and other eye diseases and for changes in your vision. The optometrist can also tell you about the newest types of prescription glasses, contact lenses and protective eyewear available.
Illnesses and injuries cost people their eyesight every year. You can reduce your chances of becoming visually impaired by eating properly, seeing an eye doctor regularly and wearing protective eyewear. Make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your eyes and your vision.