Being a woman is a beautiful, yet challenging thing. In many cases, we are the primary caretaker for our families, and it is up to us to make most of the medical decisions. Because of this, we are focused on the needs of our spouse and kids and leave ourselves neglected. That is why The National Eye Institute is reminding women during the month of May to make their eye health a priority. Here are a few tips and tricks to having your best eye health now.
Schedule Your Routine Eye Exam
While this seems simple enough, this easy step often gets overlooked. We get so wrapped up in the day-to-day of our busy lives that it is easy to forget to schedule your routine preventative exams. Everyone needs to see the eye doctor on a regular basis- including children.
It will not only help you to see the best you possibly can, but it also helps to find diseases that often don’t have symptoms, like glaucoma.
A great way to make sure you are completing your routine exams is to pick a month out of the year that works best for you. Schedule as many of your routine exams as you can within that month. Do the same for your family. You could even make a day out of it.
Staying on top of your routine eye exam will ensure that if anything does come up you will be able to catch it sooner rather than later.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to keep your eyes in tip-top shape is to eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. Things like drinking enough water, making sure you’re getting in 30 minutes of exercise a day and eating your leafy greens will keep your mind, body, and even your eyes, running at full capacity.
Eating foods full of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, vitamins C and E can help to push off diseases like macular degeneration. For example, fill your plate with things like spinach and kale, salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, beans, citrus fruits, oysters or pork. Sticking to a well-balanced diet helps you to stay a healthier weight and will lower your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Wash Your Hands Frequently and Don’t Rub Your Eyes!
If you are not already in the habit of washing your hands frequently, you should really make an effort to do so. Our hands are exposed to dirt, dust, and bacteria all throughout our day. These can easily be transferred to your eyes each time you touch or rub them.
Protect Your Eyes From the Sun and Elements
Wearing a good pair of sunglasses can help protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays that our gorgeous sun emits. Too much UV exposure can increase your chances of cataracts, macular degeneration, and corneal sunburn
When you are shopping for those cute new shades like these, make sure that they block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound lenses will help to protect your eyes from the sides, and polarized lenses reduce glare while you drive.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our lungs, but did you know it’s also bad for our eyes? Smoking makes it more likely for you to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration. Not only that, but the smoke itself can become an eye irritant. If you are currently a smoker, consider stopping. Reach out to your doctor if you need assistance.
Look Away From Screens
As our world has evolved, we now have screens for everything. While the advances in technology are great and have made life more enjoyable, they have also caused a lot of eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision, and headaches for many people. So how can we protect our eyes from the negative side effects of constant screen usage?
- Make sure that your glasses/contact prescription are up-to-date.
- If your eye strain doesn’t go away, talk to your doctor about computer glasses.
- You can also adjust your screen so that your eyes are level with the top of your monitor. This will let you look slightly down at the screen.
- Avoid glare on your screen from lights and windows. You can always purchase an anti-glare screen.
- If you feel like your eyes are getting dry from staring at the screen, blink more.
ILA has a variety of sunglasses to meet every need. Check out our inventory and find what might work best for you!
This article was written by Sarah Bowman