Vision is the most important sense we possess. It plays an defining role in every waking minute of our daily lives.
No wonder that the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) annual American Eye-Q survey shows that 40 percent of Americans worry about losing their eyesight rather than their ability to walk or hear.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to incorporate lifestyle practices that ensure your eyes remain healthy.
Five tips for healthy vision include:
- Scheduling yearly comprehensive exams - health care experts say that eye care should begin early in life, starting in infancy. Comprehensive eye exams performed by a certified optometrist can not only evaluate vision, but can also detect health problems such as high blood pressure (BP) and diabetes well in advance so they can be treated in time. Early detection and treatment is key.
- Protect your eyes against against UV rays - long-term exposure to the sun poses significant risk not just to your skin, but to your eyes as well - which is why it’s always important to wear sunglasses. Choose a pair that blocks more than 95 percent of UV-A and more than 99 percent of UV-B radiation.
- Give your eyes a break - it is estimated that up to two-thirds of Americans spend up to seven hours daily using computers or other digital devices. This can lead to problems such as dry eye, eyestrain, headaches, neck aches, lower back pain and fatigue. Proper lighting, appropriate seating and viewing angles, and sitting at the correct reading distances to eliminate visual stress and discomfort are all recommended to keep your eyes and vision healthy.
- Eat your greens - make sure you eat five servings of fruits and green leafy vegetables every day. This will ensure that your body gets a steady supply of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc - all proven to protect eyesight and promote eye health. Your body doesn’t make any of these nutrients naturally, so you must get them from your diet.
- Practice safe wear and care of contact lenses - more than 40 million Americans use contact lenses to improve their vision. While some adhere to medical guidelines for wearing contacts, others are putting their vision at risk daily through unsafe practices. Improper contact lens use can lead to blurred or fuzzy vision, red or irritated eyes, pain in and around the eyes, or a more serious condition in which the cornea becomes inflamed, known as keratitis.
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Source: Five Simple Tips for Healthy Vision.