Keeping Your Eyes Healthy
Your eyes are a vital part of your health. There are many things you can do to affect the health of your eyes and make sure you are continuing to see your best. Follow these easy steps to maintain healthy eyes as you go forward into your golden years.
Wearing the correct sunglasses will help protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays (UV) emitted by the sun. When exposed to too much UV rays, the chances of macular degeneration and cataracts is considerably increased. When choosing the right pair of shades, make sure they block 99% to 100% of UVB and UVA rays. Wraparound glasses help protect the eyes from the sides, and when driving, polarized lenses reduce glare.
Use Safety Eyewear
It is important to wear safety glasses or protective goggles if you are around hazardous or airborne materials on the job. Certain sports such as racquetball, lacrosse, and ice hockey also attribute to eye injuries. Sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses and helmets with protective face masks will shield your eyes from harm as well.
The right food on your plate is a start to good eye health. Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, and vitamins E and C all help ward off age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. To get these nutrients in your diet, fill your plate with:
- Tuna, salmon, and other oily fish
- Eggs, beans, nuts, and other non-meat protein
- Green leafy vegetables
- Oysters and pork
- Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
Eating a well-balanced diet will also help you maintain a healthy weight. A lower chance of obesity and related diseases will decrease your odds of having eye problems later.
Smoking raises your chances of damage to your optic nerve, cataracts, and macular degeneration. If you have tried to stop and failed, try again. The more times you quit, the higher the chance you will succeed. Your doctor is available to help you, so don’t be afraid ask.
Look Away from Your Electronic Device
Several problems can happen from staring at a phone screen or computer for too long. Eyestrain, trouble focusing, blurry vision, headaches, dry eyes, and neck pain are a few issues. To protect your eyes from these problems:
- Talk to your doctor about computer glasses.
- Make sure your prescription is up-to-date.
- Avoid glare from lights and windows. Use an anti-glare screen.
- If your eyes start to feel dry, practice blinking and looking away more often.
- If you’re working on your computer or using your phone a lot, rest your eyes every 20 minutes.
- Get up every two hours and take a 15-minute break. Look 20 feet away from your screen every 20 seconds.
Keep Regular Appointments with Your Eye Doctor
Everyone, even young children, need a regular eye exam. Eye exams not only help protect your sight, but they also can find diseases that have no symptoms, such as glaucoma. When these diseases are spotted early, they are much easier to treat. Your comprehensive eye exam may include the following:
- A vision test to see if you are farsighted, nearsighted, have age-related vision changes (presbyopia), or astigmatism (a curved cornea that blurs your vision)
- Talking about your personal and family medical history
- External examination of your eyes with dilation
- Eye pressure and optic nerve test to check for glaucoma
Types of Eye Doctors
There are two types of eye doctors you may see depending on your eye needs:
Optometrist – They are Doctors of Optometry (OD). This type of eye doctor has four years of specialized training after college graduation. They will provide you with general eye care and treat common eye diseases. They do not perform eye surgery.
Ophthalmologists – This type of eye doctor has eight years of specialized training after college graduation. This includes four years of medical school followed by 4fourmedicine (MD) or osteopathy (DO). These medical eye doctors specialize in eye care. They will provide you with general eye care, perform eye surgery, and treat eye diseases.
Your Eye Care Center in Northern Michigan
Northern Vision Eye Care keeps our patient’s eyes healthy as our first priority. We provide exams to not only maintain great vision but to screen for any medical eye problems that have no early symptoms. Contact us at 231.932.9000.