Whether you have been blessed with 20/20 vision or sentenced to a life behind glasses, the health of your eyes should be as paramount in your life as the health of your heart. You want your eyesight to last you a lifetime and, by following a few simple steps, you can save your eyes and vision.
March is Save Your Vision Month and the perfect time to tend to your eyesight. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), millions of Americans live with some form of sight-sapping eye disease like glaucoma or macular generation – which can be avoided by getting regular checkups, a healthy diet and proper rest.
GET REGULAR CHECK UPS
Even if you don't have any current vision problems, you should still see an opthamologist for a routine examine to ensure your eyes and vision are tip-top. Over 40 years old? The AOA says you should visit an eye doctor annually (or every other year if you are symptom-free). Younger folks with healthy eyes should still get your eyes checked every one or two years – and as recommended if you have any ongoing vision problems.
LOOK AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER
Are you in front of a computer screen all day long? Then you may be among the 88 percent of Americans who suffer eye strain from too much staring at the screen. Victims of "Computer Vision Syndrome," or CVS, suffer from headaches, loss of focus, burning or tired eyes, blurred vision and neck and shoulder pain. The key to avoiding CVS is to give your eyes breaks throughout the day. Try to abide by the "10-10-10 Rule": After ten consecutive minutes of computer time, look up and focus on anything that is at least ten feet away for at least ten seconds. If symptoms persist, see your ophthalmologist immediately – you may need to be fitted for special computer glasses, which help to alleviate eyestrain.
RELEASE TENSION, RELAX AND EASE YOUR EYE STRAIN
Too-tense eyes are major reason for failing vision, plus they can make you feel unnecessarily stressed out and anxious. To release tension, try this trick: Close your eyes, tense up all the muscles in your body. Then release it all at once with an exhale. Do this a few times a day, and your whole body – including your eyes – will become more relaxed. Getting plenty of rest and a good night's sleep can also protect your eyes from further damage.
FOODS TO SAVE YOUR VISION
Mom was right, carrots are good for your eyes. But tomatoes and peppers help out your eyesight, too. In fact, according to the National Eye Institute
, there are a delectable array of foods that can protect your eyes from disease.
Foods to improve your vision include:
- Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin such as eggs and dark green leafy veggies like kale and spinach.
- Fruits and vegeatables containing beta carotene that are deep orange or yellow like carrots, mangos and peaches.
- Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C like oranges, strawberries, green peppers and tomatoes.
- Foods rich in vitamin E such as almonds, pecans and sunflower seeds.
- Foods containing zinc like meat, liver, whole grains and milk.
Still worried about your eyesight and vision health?
Learn more about everyday eye care and detecting vision problems.