March is Save Your Vision month! It’s an opportunity to focus on your eye health and a reminder to schedule a vision exam. Ignoring eyesight issues can significantly affect your quality of life and may cause problems in the future. Make your eye health a priority by following these tips:
• Maintain a healthy diet.
Include foods abundant in nutrients such as omega 3-fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins C and E to help protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. Spinach, kale salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, beans, citrus fruits and oysters are all beneficial to eye health.
• Stay hydrated.
Dehydration can reduce lubrication in the eye resulting in dry eye syndrome, blurred vision and headaches. Drink plenty of water to decrease eye irritation and discomfort.
• Wear sunglasses.
The right pair of sunglasses can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration by blocking the sun’s damaging rays. Choose lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. Wearing a wide brim hat also provides an extra layer of protection.
• Avoid excessive screen exposure.
Staring at a computer, tablet or phone screen for an extended period may initiate conditions, such as eyestrain, blurry eyes and long-distance focusing issues. Rest your eyes by following the 20/20/20 rule – take screen breaks every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
• Get enough rest.
Getting adequate sleep not only supports your overall health but it also allows your eyes to rest and refresh. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night for your eyes to be well-rested.
• Consult your optometrist regularly.
Don’t wait until you experience eyesight problems before scheduling an appointment. Regular eye exams can provide early detection of health concerns such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
Incorporate these tips into your daily routine to help ensure good eye health. If you feel your vision has changed, contact your eye care professional.
If you experience low vision, learn how occupational therapy https://clvillage.org/how-occupational-therapy-can-help-low-vision can help.
Sherry Stick is the fitness and aquatics coordinator at Carroll Lutheran Village and has been working for CLV for nearly 20 years.