Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. Follow these simple steps for maintaining healthy vision well into your golden years.
Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Many common eye diseases such as diabetic eye disease (glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy) and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages. During the exam your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye. This procedure enables your eye care professional to get a good look at the back of the eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Your eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you are seeing your best.
Know your family's eye health history.
Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It's important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition, as many are hereditary. This information will help you determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.
Eat right to protect your sight.
You've heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, such as diabetic eye disease, which can have vision-threatening complications. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.
Wear protective eyewear.
Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics.