9 Eye Health Tips to Prevent Blindness
About 12 million people 40 years and over in the US have vision impairment. Approximately 1 million of these people are blind. As you grow older, certain behaviors can impact how you see.
Some could eventually lead to blindness.
Thankfully, a few small preventive measures can have a major impact on your eye health. Here are nine simple ways you can prevent blindness.
With these tips, you can protect your eyesight and potentially avoid vision problems later in life. Sharpen your eyesight by applying these easy tips to your routine!
1. Schedule Eye Exams
Make sure to schedule comprehensive eye exams every few years to catch signs of a potential eye disease before it develops. Scheduling an exam is the only way to catch a problem like glaucoma in time for you to begin treatment.
If you already have vision problems, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at least once a year. Otherwise, schedule a baseline eye exam when you turn 40.
During an eye exam, your doctor will gather your medical history and family history. They’ll also check your:
- Color vision
- Eye pressure
- Central vision
Your doctor will also widen (dilate) your pupil using special drops. Dilating your pupil will allow them to see the back of your eye. Then, your doctor can check for any damage to determine if you have an eye disease.
Checking in with your doctor regularly can help with preventing eye problems from developing in the future.
2. Improve Your Diet
About 92% of the US population has a vitamin deficiency. The vitamins we get from whole foods can have a major impact on our eye health.
Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet could reduce your risk of future eye conditions. It’s important to consume foods that are right in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Antioxidants can also ward off oxidants that might affect your eye health in the future.
These nutrients include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamins A, C, and E
Consuming these nutrients could reduce your risk of poor night vision, glaucoma, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.
You can start adding these nutrients to your diet with fruits, vegetables, dairy, and protein.
For example, fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats contribute to visual development. They also ensure the health of the retina in the back of the eye.
Consuming more fatty acids could prevent dry eyes, too.
To add vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc to your diet, consider consuming eggs more often. Vitamin A protects your cornea; the surface of the eye. Meanwhile, lutein and zeaxanthin lower the chance of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Zinc also contributes to the retina’s health and helps you see at night.
Almonds contain vitamin E, which protects your body from unstable molecules that target healthy tissue. Dairy, on the other hand, contains vitamin A and zinc to protect the retina and choroid. Diary can also help with the prevention of cataracts.
Carrots contain vitamin A and beta carotene, which help the surface of the eye. They can also prevent eye infections and other serious conditions.
Try adding these foods to your diet to prevent vision loss in the future.
3. Stay Safe From the Sun
Make sure to protect your eyes by grabbing a pair of sunglasses every time you step outside. Don’t forget to slather on sunscreen around your eyes, too. The skin around your eyes is some of the thinnest on the body.
As a result, this area is more susceptible to ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage.
Types of skin cancer like melanoma and carcinoma can also form in the eyelids or around the eyes. You could sustain damage to the eye structure as a result.
4. Avoid Smoking
Remove any form of tobacco from your routine. Otherwise, smoking allows cyanide to enter your bloodstream. Cyanide can destroy the cells in your eyes.
Smoking could also increase your risk of developing cataracts, dry eyes, or other eye problems. It also increases your risk of macular degeneration.
If you want to protect your eyes, quit smoking.
5. Prevent Diabetes
Diabetic retinopathy is the most frequent cause of new cases of blindness in adults ages 20 to 74. It’s the most common cause of blindness in the US.
The tiny blood vessels of the retina can sustain damage, leading to eye problems. Your vision could blur over time before you become blind.
Make an effort to control your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar.
6. Avoid Dry Eyes
Do you stare at a computer for hours at a time? When working in front of a computer, we neglect to blink as often as we usually do. You could develop dry eyes as a result.
Try to look away from your computer every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds. Stare at something about 20 feet away. This 20-20-20 rule could give your eyes a break, minimizing inflammation.
7. Minimize Macular Degeneration Risk
Macular degeneration can develop when your eye tissues degenerate, eventually leading to blindness.
There are two forms of macular degeneration. If fluids in the retina cause your vision loss, you can receive injections in the eye for treatment. There aren’t treatments available for the dry form of macular degeneration, though.
Make sure to check in with your eye doctor to determine if you’re at risk.
8. Reduce Cataracts Risk
Cataract symptoms include reduced night vision, double vision, glare, faded colors, and blurred vision. It’s associated with exposure to radiation therapy or UV rays.
Some medications can increase your risk of cataracts. Your doctor can recommend treatments like replacing damaged eye lenses to reduce your risk.
You can learn more about cataracts here.
9. Watch for Glaucoma Signs
Glaucoma can occur if pressure in the eye builds up, damaging the optic nerve. This condition can develop slowly before causing vision problems.
The risk of glaucoma is higher for people who have a family history of diabetes.
Treatment includes using a once-daily eye drop, though surgery is another option.
Eye Spy: Prevent Blindness Using These Nine Easy Tips
Don’t put your eye health at risk. Instead, learn how to prevent blindness using these tips. Remember to visit your eye doctor regularly for screenings as well.
With these tips, you can prevent vision loss and maintain the best possible eye health.
Ready for an appointment with your optometrist? We can’t wait to see you.
Book an appointment today to learn how we can help with your vision.