It’s never too early to take the long view when it comes to protecting your vision. The National Eye Institute has designated May as Healthy Vision Month1 to encourage people of all ages to do the best things possible to protect their eyes for a lifetime of good vision. At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO, we’ve compiled 5 ways you can keep your eyes healthy.
Keep your annual visit to the ophthalmologist
A comprehensive, dilated eye exam each year, or as often as recommended, is the first step towards maintaining good eye health. Your ophthalmologist will not only check your vision but will check your eye pressure and your overall eye health. There is a lot that goes on in this visit. And by going back each year, your ophthalmologist can track any changes in your eyes and your overall health. For example, the eye doctor is often the first to know if you’re having blood sugar problems by noticing changes in the eye.
Wear protective eyewear
An easy way to prevent the vast majority of eye injuries is to wear proper protective gear such as goggles or safety gasses. Sports goggles can keep you playing your hardest while taking care of your vision. UV sunglasses worn regularly can help protect your eyes from radiation damage. And safety goggles can protect your eyes from chemical splashes or flying debris.
Avoid computer eye strain
Computers and digital devices are hard on eyes. Repeated overuse can cause vision problems over time. Follow best practices when it comes to setting up your screen, protecting against glare, and using natural lighting. Take regular breaks following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
- Quit smoking. If you are a smoker, see your doctor immediately for help in stopping. Smoking lowers your organ’s oxygen levels and it raises your blood pressure and cholesterol. These can all contribute to eye disease as well as heart attack and stroke.2
- Eat eye-healthy foods. Eating foods high in fiber and low in sugars can help keep your eyes healthy.2 Focus on dark, leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens and kale. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, halibut or trout, are also excellent choices.3
- Increase physical activity. Stay active to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes under control.1
- Maintain a healthy weight. Keeping your weight under control can help you with diabetes and other conditions that can lead to eye disease.3
Manage chronic conditions
Many chronic conditions can affect eye health. Conditions like diabetes, hypertension, sarcoidosis, or multiple sclerosis can impact vision and result in things like inflammation of the optic nerve, glaucoma, and even blindness. If you have a chronic health condition, make sure you are regularly going to your primary physician.
Make your eye appointment today
If you haven’t had a comprehensive, dilated eye exam in a year, call today for an appointment at one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood. If you’ve been experiencing any changes in vision, eye pain, double vision, drainage, floaters, halos or flashes of light4, don’t delay and come in as soon as possible.