When it comes to healthcare, caring for the eyes is often relegated to determining whether or not a person needs glasses or contacts. However, your eyes are organs and they require the same amount of care and attention as the rest of your body to function at their best. The older we get, the more important it is to know how to take care of your eyes.
Fortunately, the care of your eyes doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can take care of your eyes following a few simple steps. This quick reference eye guide will help you learn the importance of managing a few key factors to lasting wellness.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
You can help give your eyes a boost from the inside out by eating a healthy diet filled with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. To be clear, the old tale that eating carrots can help you see in the dark is just a myth. They certainly won’t make your glasses and contacts obsolete. However, carrots do have a few superpowers that make them a real superfood for your eyes. Lutein, for example, reduces your risk for macular degeneration. Carrots also contain beta carotene, which transforms into vitamin A. Vitamin A is a real booster for the health of your eyes, preventing vision-impairing problems like cataracts.
Other foods that are great for healthy eye care:
- Sweet potatoes (vitamin A)
- Citrus fruits (vitamin C)
- Avocados (vitamin E)
- Strawberries (vitamin C)
- Kale (lutein and other antioxidants)
- Salmon (omega-3)
- Tomatoes (vitamin C)
- Eggs (lutein and other antioxidants)
- Sunflower seeds (vitamin E)
- Beans (zinc)
- Almonds (vitamin E)
- Oysters (zinc)
- Lean meats (zinc)
It’s also worth noting that a healthy diet can prevent or manage conditions such as diabetes, which have a direct impact on the care of your eyes. Weight management and other diabetes prevention strategies will benefit your eye health.
2. Visit Your Eye Doctor for Regular Check-Ups
Unless you have an issue with your vision, you probably don’t think much about visiting the eye doctor. Most adults are diagnosed with vision issues in adolescence and visit the doctor to take care of eye conditions that impact daily life. Others notice deterioration, blurring or other issues and schedule an exam to discover the cause. However, as we age, it becomes important to schedule eye exams to ensure you do not have any hidden issues waiting to develop. Healthy-looking eyes don’t necessarily equal healthy eyes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the eye advice that you have a full eye exam at least once in your 20s and twice in your 30s. At 40, everyone should have at least one complete eye exam. In fact, the older you are, the more imperative it is that you see a professional to assess how your eyes are aging and if you should have any concerns. After 40, your eyes are more vulnerable to disease and degeneration. By your 60s, the AAO recommends that people get eye exams every year or at least every other year.
You should visit the eye doctor more regularly if you:
- Wear contacts or glasses
- Are diagnosed with diabetes
- Experience pressure or pain in your eyes
- Experience an eye injury
- Notice deterioration in your vision
- Experience headaches or pain when reading or using a computer for long periods of time
3. Take Extra Care to Protect Your Eyes
There are a few different steps you can take to care for your eyes by protecting your eyes from damage or infection.
Wear Proper Sunglasses
Sunglasses don’t just make you look fabulous; they truly do protect your eyes. Of course, that depends heavily on the type of sunglasses that you purchase. Look for sunglasses with a UV sticker or a UV designation on the tag. UVA and UVB rays are connected to an increase in both macular degeneration and cataract risks. Don’t sacrifice safety for fashion — find a pair you love that will actually do the job. If you wear regular eyeglasses in lieu of contact lenses, look at options like transition lenses to make it easier to protect yourself.
Keep Your Eyes Clean
Our eyebrows, eyelashes, and tears do a great job of filtering out harmless particles, but they are helpless to stop us from touching our eyes with unwashed hands and introducing bacteria. Care of the eyes includes protecting them from, well, you. Wash your hands before putting in or removing your contact lenses. While it’s not always possible, try to wash your hands before touching your eyes. If your eye gets irritated or itchy or gets debris in it, rinse your eye with over-the-counter eyecare solutions or dab with a clean, damp cloth.
Wear Protective Gear
If you plan to be in an environment where your eyes will be exposed to harmful chemicals or particles, wear protective eyewear. It only takes a few drops of a caustic chemical to damage your vision forever — it’s not worth the risk. Wear goggles, protective glasses, or a protective mask if you’re working with chemicals or around flying debris. Wear glasses when cycling and goggles when swimming to avoid injury during recreation.
We hope this quick reference eye care tips guide can help you in caring for your eyes. If you would like to know more about how to manage vision issues as you age, or get more eye care tips on how to take care of eyes, schedule an appointment for an eye exam. Our experienced team would be delighted to help you.