Our eyesight is one of those essential things that are easy to take for granted. It’s natural to not think much about our eyes; that is, until a vision issue arises. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 20 million Americans currently suffer from severe vision loss. While some eye conditions and diseases cannot be prevented, others can be with the right habits and lifestyle. That’s why the healthcare providers here at Family Practice Center wanted to provide a few simple steps to help our patients keep their eyes healthy.

Get Your Eyes Checked

A great way to know if there is anything wrong with your vision is to regularly get your eyes checked. This can help confirm if there has been any discernible change in your vision since your last check-up and seek a reason for this change if one occurs. We perform vision tests as part of the annual physicals that we provide.

Avoid Eye Strain

Eye strain has become more of an issue in recent years as so many of us have transitioned to life with smartphones and computers. While the jury is still out on whether eye strain leads to lasting damage, it’s sure to cause short-term discomfort this is avoidable <this is based on the studies I’ve seen but if you’ve seen research that it does cause long-term problems, feel free to delete the sentence I added>. If you work in an office and spend a considerable amount of time looking at a computer daily, we recommend following the 20-20-20 rule. That means every 20 minutes you should look away from your screen about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eye strain.

Eat Right

Maintaining a healthy diet is an essential component of good long-term eye health. Certain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins C and E can all help fight off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. We recommend leafy green vegetables, fish like salmon and tuna, nuts, beans, and fresh fruit.

Don’t Forget to Wear Sunglasses

It probably won’t shock you to hear that exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is not healthy for your eyes. In fact, too much sunlight can increase your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. Thankfully, wearing the right pair of sunglasses can help protect your eyes from sun damage. We recommend finding sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Most pairs will state this on their packaging. Additionally, wraparound lenses can protect your eyes from the side.

Don’t wait until there is a problem to care about the state of your vision. We recommend being proactive when it comes to your eye health and making an effort to prevent potential vision issues before they occur. For more information or to schedule an appointment today, please contact Family Practice Center. You can follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and more.