It is estimated that 93 million adults in the United States are at high risk for serious vision loss. Proper care and caution are very important to prevent serious eye diseases and possible blindness.
You can reduce your risk of vision problems by taking steps as simple as wearing sunglasses and getting an annual eye exam.
Many eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms. It’s important that we are informed and recognize the risk so we can safeguard our eye health.
Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:
- Wear sunglasses — Wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) rays can delay the development of cataracts by protecting your eyes from direct sunlight that can damage the retina. Sunglasses also protect the delicate eyelid skin and reduce your risk of wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye.
- Don’t smoke — Tobacco smoking is directly linked to many adverse health effects, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. Smokers are also at increased risk for developing cataracts.
- Eat right — A vitamin or mineral deficiency can impair retinal function. The belief that eating carrots improves vision has some truth, but a variety of vegetables, especially leafy green ones, should be an important part of your diet.
- Early intervention — Age-related eye diseases, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and AMD are expected to dramatically increase over the next several years. Left untreated, these diseases can cause serious vision loss and blindness. Regardless of your age, early intervention now will prevent vision loss later.
- Be aware of eye fatigue — If your eyes are tired from working at a computer or doing close work, you can follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look up from your work every 20 minutes at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If eye fatigue persists, it can be a sign of several different conditions, such as dry eye syndrome, and you should see an eye doctor to determine why you are having eye fatigue and to receive proper treatment.