Although genetics can play a significant role in eye health, there is a lot you can do to lower your risk of developing vision problems. Here are six ways to start improving your eye health today:
- Maintain a healthy weight.Researchers warn that obesity can be detrimental to your eyesight. For example, those who are clinically obese have a greater risk of developing eye disease. Scientists have discovered a connection between obesity and the appearance of four specific eye diseases: cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Begin today to live healthier by going for a walk around the neighborhood or visiting your local park. If you are having difficulty staying at a healthy weight, contact your doctor.
- Invest in protective eyewear. Yard work or other house keeping related activities may require eyewear as protection from chemicals or projectiles. Occupations where eyewear is recommended, and in some cases required, include plumbing, welding, auto repair, construction, electrical work, maintenance, manufacturing, mining, and carpentry.
- Eat the right foods. A diet rich in vegetables and fruit is invaluable to maintaining healthy eyes. Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are particularly advantageous. Studies also demonstrate that eyes benefit from fish high in omega-3 fatty acids like halibut, salmon, and tuna.
- Get a comprehensive eye exam: Eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration can only be detected by getting regular dilated eye exams. You don’t need a current vision problem to schedule a visit with your eye doctor. An annual exam will allow your doctor to detect early signs of eye disease and develop a treatment plan.
- Give your eyes some down time.Research shows that the average American adult spends between 9-12 hours a day in front of an electronic screen. With all that screen time, we often forget to blink. If you have a desk job where you are staring at a computer all day, try the 20-20-20 rule: every twenty minutes look about twenty feet in any direction for twenty seconds. This will aid in reducing eyestrain.