Regular eye exams from your optometric or ophthalmologist are very important to ensure that you eyes remain in their best possible health. This should be done at least once every two years. However, if you currently have eye conditions or is over the age of 65 years, you should get your eye checked at least once in a year.
To further protect your eyes from any problems or diseases that it is at risk at having, here are some important tips:
Your eyes need protection from the sun just as your skin does. The harmful UV rays of the sun can increase your risk at getting macular degeneration and cataract because the UV bands can penetrate the retina. Just as you have sun block lotion for your skin, get yourself protective sunglasses that have 99% or 100% UV protection. You might want to avoid wearing those that are marked cosmetic as they most often do not do a very good job of protecting your eyes from the harsh sunlight.
2. Do not smoke
Smoking does a lot of damage to the body as a whole, and your eyes are not spared from it. Smoking damages the small vessels where blood passes through to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the eyes. Smokers increase their risk of developing many eye diseases such as
age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, optic nerve damage, dry eye syndrome, and diabetic retinopathy.
3. Limit alcohol consumption
Having the occasional glass of wine or cocktail might not do some harm on your eyes but excessive drinking can increase your risk to eye damage. Consuming large amounts of alcohol for extended periods of time can lead to the degeneration of the optic nerve, resulting in blind spots, reduced color visibility, and vision reduction. Short-term alcohol consumption can also trigger migraines, causing some to experience flashing lights.
4. Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Untreated hypertension or high blood pressure can greatly affect the eyesight and can even give way for the development of hypertensive retinopathy. Because this is caused by high blood pressure, this eye disease is highly preventable. This is why, along with maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, you have to keep your blood pressure in a normal range to prevent occluding the veins of your retina.
5. Control blood sugar levels
This is applicable to those that have diabetes as prolonged unhealthy blood sugar levels can cause diabetic retinopathy. This eye disease is brought about by damage to the retina in the eye. Other eye complications of diabetes are blindness, bleeding, cataracts, double vision, and corneal erosion.
6. Eat foods with antioxidants
Foods that are rich with antioxidants are not only good for your eyes; they also contribute to your overall health and wellness. Antioxidants are able to repair and vitalize cells that have been damaged by free radicals. Leafy green vegetables such as collards, kale, and spinach are the best sources of antioxidants. Colorful fruits and vegetables are also rich with antioxidants like alfalfa sprouts, beans, berries, eggplant, plums, prunes, and red grapes.