Maintaining Good Eye Health
Some of my friends of late have been complaining about declining vision, prompting me to think it would be a good idea to review some ways to protect and maintain good eye health. So often we take our health for granted. Our heart beats, our extremities move. We get where we need to go and accomplish what needs doing for the most part, with little thought or concern. But there are some steps we can take to prevent vision loss and and promote good vision well into our 80s and 90s. It’s not too soon to begin now.
Begin with getting the special nutrients your eyes need. Protecting your eyes begins with the food on your plate. Studies show that nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids, Lutein, Zinc, and Vitamin C may help ward off age related vision problems such as Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.
Include in your diet servings of green leafy veggies, such as spinach, kale, and collards. Helpful also are eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources. Add oranges, and other citrus fruit or juices.
Kick the habit if you smoke. Smoking significantly increases your risk of cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration.
Wear sun glasses or transitional lenses in your regular glasses. This is an area where you don’t want to go with the least expensive pair. Sun glasses should block 99-100% both UVA and UVB rays. The glasses should be marked with the % of these harmful rays that they block. Stylish sunglasses are important but it is far better to be sure you are adequately protecting your sensitive eyes from the sun’s glaring rays!
Talk to your eye doctor about the best way to protect your eyes if you are wearing contact lens. Changes are occurring frequently so your eye specialist can advise you on the latest and most advanced lenses available.
Wear safety goggles at home, work, or playing sports. Most of us don’t have what are thought of as hazardous jobs, but when least expected something can come out of nowhere and fly into your eye. Wear safety goggles when working in the yard pruning trees, or anytime there may be bark or dust particles that could get in the eye.
Computer work causes eye strain. 90% if people using a computer 3 hours plus a day, have CVS or computer vision syndrome. When using a computer, you tend to blink less, and open your eyes more widely. Warning signs of eye strain: blurry vision, spots, glare at night are common complaints or can be early signs of disease. All family members should have regular checkups for early detection of eye problems, including children.
If you have access to a computer, there is an interesting slide show on eye problems at Eye Health WebMD.
Your health matters,
Barbara Thiele, R.N., FCN (retired)