The National Eye Institute has observed Healthy Vision Month every May since 2003. Approximately 36 million adults in the United States have a serious eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma. All of these diseases can cause significant vision impairment or even blindness. The risks of these eye illnesses can be reduced, however, by making healthy choices and getting regular eye exams.
Many of us get our annual physical and biannual dental visits, but our yearly eye exam often falls to the wayside. Taking care of your vision is so important, and Healthy Vision Month can be a great reminder to schedule your exam. There are many easy ways to protect your eyes during your late twenties and early thirties that will also benefit your overall health.
Here are 5 practical ways to re-focus yourself on taking care of your eyes:
Eating foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon, and dark leafy greens provide benefits to your eye health as well as helping you maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can increase your risk of developing diabetes, which can lead to vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. So be aware of the foods you eat and how they can affect your vision.
Your risk of cancer is elevated if you smoke, but that’s not the only concern. Smoking can also increase your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Replace your unhealthy habit of smoking with visits to the gym. Exercise will help improve your circulation, which leads to increased blood flow. This, in turn, benefits your eyes greatly!
It is so important for you to know your history. Use the month of May to ask your family if any of your blood relatives have been diagnosed with eye diseases of any kind. Eye diseases are often hereditary, which can place you at a higher risk for developing them yourself.
Sunglasses are incredibly helpful in protecting your eyes from damage caused by the sun. Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. It is extremely important to check the labels on your fashionable shades; make sure that they’ve been approved to block 99-100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
It can often fall through the cracks, but you should never skip your annual eye exam. Healthy Vision Month is the perfect time to turn your attention to your eyes. By taking care of your eyes now, even young ones, you can help prevent vision loss in the future. Let the team at North Georgia Eye Clinic help you discover the best methods for keeping your eyes healthy throughout your entire life.