Tips to Prevent Vision Loss

Your eyes are an important part of your health. You can do many things to keep them healthy and make sure you’re looking your best. Follow these simple guidelines to keep your eyes healthy well into your golden years.

Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam. You may think your vision is fine or your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye doctor for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to be really sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they can see better with glasses or contacts. Also, many common eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration, often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil and allow more light into the eye, much like an open door lets more light in. in a dark room. This process allows your eye doctor to take a good look at the back of your eyes and examine them for signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you are seeing your best.

Keep your blood sugar levels up. 90% of blindness caused by diabetes is preventable. Ask your health care team to help you set and reach goals for managing your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, also known as the ABCs of diabetes.

A1c: The goal set for many people is less than 7% for this blood test, but your doctor may set different goals for you.
Blood pressure: High blood pressure causes heart disease. The goal is less than 140/90 mmHg for most people, but your doctor may set different goals for you.
Cholesterol: LDL or “bad” cholesterol builds up and clogs blood vessels. HDL or “good” cholesterol helps remove “bad” cholesterol from the blood vessels. Ask what your cholesterol levels should be.
Learn about your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about your eye health history. It is important to know if someone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, as many are hereditary. This information will help determine if you are at increased risk of developing an eye disease or condition.

Eat well to protect your eyesight. You have heard that carrots are good for the eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, or collard greens, is also important for maintaining eye health.i Research has also shown that consumption of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.

Keep a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. If you’re having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.

Wear protective glasses. Wear protective glasses when playing sports or doing activities at home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye shields specially designed to provide adequate protection for the activity in which you are involved. Most eye protection lenses are made from polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for the eyes as it is for the rest of the body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.ii,iii

Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important function is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When shopping for sunglasses, look for ones that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Give your eyes a break. If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer or concentrating on something, sometimes you forget to blink and your eyes may get tired. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This brief exercise can help reduce

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