Adults interested in healthy lifestyles should make eye health a priority. Explore five important things to do to maintain eye health, including some practical tips for incorporating these habits into your daily routine.
It’s no secret that smoking is harmful to your overall well-being, but did you know it can also damage your eyes? Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to vision loss. So, quitting smoking is a vital step towards maintaining eye health. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit, or look into support groups and apps to start living tobacco-free.
Nutrition, Weight Control, and Exercise
A healthy diet that includes antioxidants may help stave off conditions that contribute to eye diseases and age-related vision loss. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing diabetes, which can lead to vision problems like diabetic retinopathy. By eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, veggies, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll help keep your peepers in tip-top shape. Additionally, exercise improves blood circulation, which is essential for healthy retinas.
Protective Eyewear and Sunglasses
Whether you’re working, playing sports, or simply enjoying a sunny day, protective eyewear and sunglasses are must-haves. These items can safeguard your eyes from injuries and block out harmful UV rays. Look for sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV protection, and opt for shatterproof lenses when participating in high-impact sports. Remember: when it comes to your eyesight, prevention is more than half the battle!
Keep Germs and Dirt at Bay
We touch our eyes more often than we realize, which makes clean hands crucial for eye health. Regular hand washing prevents germs and dirt from entering your eyes, potentially causing infection or irritation. Be mindful of your hand hygiene and avoid rubbing your eyes whenever possible. Pro tip: keep hand sanitizer handy for on-the-go cleanliness!
And while you’re engaging in that healthy exercise, it’s important to keep sweat out of your eyes. Sweat from the forehead picks up dirt and germs as it rolls toward the eyes, and the salty sting of sweat can irritate eye tissue. Use an athletic sweatband to keep sweat from depositing dirt, germs, and skin or hair products in your eyes.
Give Your Eyes a Rest
Almost all of us spend a huge chunk of our day staring at screens, but it’s important to give your eyes a break to prevent digital eye strain. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something at least 20 feet away. Give your eyes the downtime they deserve!
Maintaining eye health requires a combination of good habits and conscious self-care. Add these five important things to do to maintain eye health to your daily routine to reduce your chances of developing eye diseases or suffering eye injuries.