Tips to Maintain Healthy Eyes

August 20, 2015

1. Eat Right

Nutrition and diet plays a major role in protecting your eyes. Studies show that incorporating nutrients such as vitamins C and E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and lutein can help slow down the progression of age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Consider adding these foods into your regular diet:
• Green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, collard greens
• Fish – salmon, tuna and other oily fish
• Non-meat protein sources – eggs, nuts, beans
• Citrus fruits – oranges, grapefruits
• Orange Bell Peppers
• Sweet Potato

2. Quit Smoking

Smoking can be detrimental for the entire body and can also have an effect on your eye health. Smoking can be toxic to the health of your optic nerves, it can cause premature cataracts and increases the risk of getting macular degeneration. Start by cutting down if it’s too hard to go cold turkey! Consider taking specific eye vitamins to help the tissues of the eye. Ask us for more details.

3. Wear UV Protection

Sunglasses must have 100% UVA and UVB coatings to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Too much UV exposure can put you at risk for early cataracts and macular degeneration. Polarized glasses are great to consider to cut down on extra glare when you are driving and enhance your vision. Remember to wear these all year round and especially near reflective surfaces such as water, snow and sand.

4. Wear Safety Eyewear

Safety or protective glasses should be worn any time you are in a hazardous environment or in an area with airborne materials. Certain sports require eyewear for protection whether they be visors on helmets, face masks or sport goggles. You only have two eyes so protect them when you can!

5. Take Frequent Breaks when using and digital screen

Staring at a digital device for many hours can cause:
• Eyestrain
• Blurry vision
• Headaches
• Trouble focusing in the distance
• Dry eyes
• Neck, back and shoulder pain
Protect your eyes by:
• Making sure your glasses and contact lens prescriptions are up to date and optimal for computer use.
• Use appropriate coatings on the glasses to reduce glare and help with contrast. Blue light coating is a great feature to filter the blue light and reduce eyestrain and fatigue.
• Use an anti-glare screen if needed
• Choose an appropriate but comfortable chair and position the screen below your eye level
• Apply the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can download apps to help you take more breaks!

6. Visit us regularly

Adults and children should both get their eyes examined annually to ensure good eye health. Our comprehensive eye exam includes
• Discussing your lifestyle needs and concerns. Reviewing your medical and ocular history.
• Assessing your vision and the need for glasses, contact lenses and sunwear. Determining the best coatings for your lenses.
• Assessing the health of the eyes both on the front surface and inside the eye
• Measuring your eye pressure
• An Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) scan of the eyes to assess the tissues of the optic nerve and macula and track changes and progression over time.

Dr. Farrah Sunderji, OD