How to Keep Your Vision Healthy
Preventive Care

How to Keep Your Vision Healthy

Most of us have heard the phrase, “hindsight is 20/20.” Hindsight isn’t useful, however, when it comes to vision.

Thinking you should have done more to protect your eyesight doesn’t help if it becomes compromised because you took it for granted. There are some important things to know about protecting your vision. Let’s take a look.

Woman with Cell Phone in Low Light

Fact Versus Fiction

Eyesight may be the one sense most people fear losing. That’s probably why there are so many myths around eyesight, how to damage it, and ways to protect it. Let’s start by debunking some of those myths.

  • Eye exercises preserve your vision — The need for corrective lenses depends on the shape of your eyeball, family history, and the health of the eye tissue. There are no exercises that can affect any of that.
  • Vision gets worse from reading in dim light — Your eyes are more likely to get tired or strained but you won’t damage them. Shine a light on what you’re reading for best results.
  • Eat carrots for better eyesight — Carrots have vitamin A which is good for the eyes, but it’s not as good as fruits and dark green leafy vegetables rich in vitamin C and E.
  • Don’t constantly wear your glasses or contacts — Your vision might be blurry without them but wearing them all the time will not damage your vision. Your eyes might get tired or strained, but they won’t get damaged.
  • Constantly staring at screens is bad for your eyes — Once again, this will tire your eyes, but it won’t do any permanent damage. Blink regularly and rest your eyes every 20 minutes or so.
Healthy Salad with Lemon Water

Focus on Overall Health

If you keep yourself healthy with a good diet and plenty of exercise you have a better chance of protecting your vision. Staying active and eating right will reduce your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

  • Eat — Dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach. Salmon, tuna, and halibut are high in omega-3 fatty acids which is good for vision.
  • Move — You don’t have to run marathons or be a gym rat. Just be physically active enough to get your heart rate up on a regular basis.
  • Quit — Stop smoking. It doesn’t just hurt your lungs; it hurts your eyes. It increases the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration which blurs vision as you age. It can also harm the optic nerve.
Couple With Glasses Embracing

Protect Them

Dirt, debris, chemicals, and sunlight can all damage your vision. That’s why it’s important to be very careful to keep harmful things from getting in your eyes.

  • Wear sunglasses — Look for sunglasses that block out 99% to 100% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • Wear protective lenses — Don’t just do this at work. Do it at home when working around the house. Bleach, detergents, and other cleaners can harm your eyes just like debris kicked up by your lawn mower or grass trimmer.
  • Wash up — Keep your hands clean, especially when putting contact lenses in or out of your eyes.
  • Rest them — Staring at screens or reading in the dark will tire your eyes. While you’re not doing permanent damage, you should listen to what your body is telling you.
Doctor Checking a Patient's Vision

Have Your Vision Checked

It’s important to visit your eye doctor on a regular basis, even if you have perfect vision and have never needed contacts or glasses. If you’re healthy, your vision is good, and you have no family history of eye disease, follow these age-appropriate guidelines for eye exams.

  • In your 20s and 30s — Every five to 10 years
  • From 40 to 54 — Every two to four years
  • From 55 to 64 — Every one to three years
  • When you’re 65 — Every one to two years

Take children for an eye exam before they turn three. It’s a good way to identify common eye conditions that could lead to learning problems.

Regular visits to the eye doctor can also help determine if a vision problem is the symptom of a more serious health issue. Blurry vision, for example, could be a symptom of diabetes. An experienced eye doctor can identify problems that might indicate cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, and autoimmune disorders.

AltaMed can help whether you just need your vision checked or your doctor recommends seeing a specialist. Call us at (888) 499-9303 to learn more or make an appointment.

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How to Keep Your Vision Healthy