Your vision may be your most valuable of your five senses – here are a few tips for keeping it sharp and healthy for the long term. OptiExpress is Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida’s leading optometry resource, helping diverse patients maintain their ocular health.
While most of us are given five senses that help us navigate our environment – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch – our vision may be our most used. We use our eyes to process approximately 80 percent of all tangible phenomena, so a loss of, or reduction in, our vision significantly affects our quality of life. Moreover, vision deterioration costs the U.S. nearly $140 billion annually — $65 billion in direct health spending, a loss of $48 billion in reduced industrial productivity, and almost $24 billion in long-term and part-time care, government assistance, and medical devices.
The risk of vision deterioration increases as we age. There is a 20 percent possibility that an adult over the age of 45 will experience a loss of vision or a health concern that affects visual acuity. Fortunately, conditions like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can be prevented if you take a long-term approach for protecting your vision. Here are 10 tips that can help you preserve your vision at any age.
1. A Healthy Diet Promotes Healthy Vision.
A balanced diet with nutrient-rich foods – plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and lutein, especially – help ward off age-related vision issues like macular degeneration and cataracts.
2. Stop Smoking/Vaping.
Smokers are three times as likely to develop medical conditions that result in vision deterioration.
3. Always Wear Work Goggles.
If you’re an avid carpenter, gardener, or mechanic, always wear work goggles to protect your eyes from hazardous dust or chemicals.
4. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun.
Persistent exposure to ultraviolet rays can accelerate the effects of cataracts and macular degeneration. Choose a pair of sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.
5. Take a Break From Screen Time.
While it can be difficult to tear ourselves away from our computer screens, phones, and tablets, extended exposure to the LED screens can cause eye strain and lead to dry/itchy eyes, headaches and even reduced ability to focus on objects at a distance. If you can’t reliably reduce your screen time, invest in a pair of screen exposure glasses that mitigate the effects of LED light.
6. Take a Break From Reading.
You don’t have to do all of your reading on electronic devices to experience ocular discomfort – old-fashioned books can also cause eye strain, especially if you’re reading in insufficient light. If you feel your eyes becoming tired after pouring over a stack of papers, look away from your documents for a few seconds until your eyes are relieved.
7. Visit an Eye Care Specialist Once Per Year.
Even if your vision seems fine, or your prescription lenses seem to be correcting your vision sufficiently, it’s still important to visit your optometrist regularly to check for any irregularities. The earlier any vision problems are addressed, the easier they are to correct.
8. Take Changes in Vision or Eye Comfort Seriously.
If you are experiencing blurry vision, persistent dry eyes, eye pain, or any changes in the quality of your sight, make sure you have the issues addressed immediately.
9. Discuss Inherited Vision Conditions With Your Optometrist.
If your parents or grandparents had vision problems, diabetes, or heart disease, talk to your eye care specialist about your own risks of also experiencing those ailments.
10. Maintain Your Contact Lenses According to Your Doctor’s Instructions.
You may think that you’re caring for your contact lenses properly, statistically, you probably aren’t. According to research performed by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, even though 85 percent of study respondents believed they cared for their contact lenses properly, only 2 percent cared for them adequately, and .4 percent followed contact lens care practices fully. Not only does failure to care for contact lenses properly cause them to deteriorate quickly, it can also leave you susceptible to a variety of eye infections and disorders. Talk to your optometrist about how you should care for your specific type of lenses.
OptiExpress: Providing Family-Friendly Eye Care Services Since 1999
OptiExpress offers the Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida communities access to comprehensive eye care services, including eye exams, contact lens fittings, designer frames, and screenings for complex eye conditions. We’re proud to offer a one-hour digital lab that allows us to fabricate corrective lenses on-site quickly and accurately, letting customers fill their prescriptions during their lunch hour! Visit our Cape Coral or Fort Myers locations today for fantastic deals on eye exams and corrective lenses.