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Pointers for Protecting Your Vision The number of Americans suffering from severe vision loss today is staggering – over 20 million! Not all eye diseases can be avoided, but here’s some good news: there are simple things we can do to reduce the possibility of vision loss. Why Wearing UV Sunglasses Is Important Skin cancer around the eyes can be prevented simply by using UV-blocking sunglasses, which also help delay cataracts, which form more easily with constant direct sun exposure. Not all sunglasses are the same though. Those that block 100% of UV rays are, of course, most helpful. Say No to Smoking
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There is overwhelming evidence that smoking tobacco is unhealthy for the body, including the eyes. In particular, this habit as been linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
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Good Nutrition People who are deficient in vitamins are likely to develop retinal issues. Based on research, AMD can be prevented by diets rich in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein and zinc. Getting a Baseline Eye Exam Even if you have no known eye disease risk factors, it’s still important to undergo baseline eye screening when you turn 40, the age when vision impairment and eye disease usually begin. Your opthalmologist will know if you need follow-up exams or treatment. Indoor Eye Protection Standard ANSI-approved eyewear should be good for most home projects and activities. For sports eye protection, you should wear eyewear approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or by your sport’s governing body. Your Family History Glaucoma, cataract, AMD and many other eye diseases tend to run in the family, so take the time to know your family history so you know your risks and can take preventive steps early on when necessary. Cooperating with Your Eye Care Provider Be sure to see the right eye care professional for your specific condition. There will be opticians and optometrists, and there will be ophthalmologists, who are basically your full-spectrum eye pros who can provide eye care across all levels, from surgery to prescribing eyeglasses. Proper Use of Contact Lenses Be aware that contact lens abuse, such as sleeping in contacts not meant for overnight use, using expired solutions, and using disposable contacts beyond their intended wear, can lead to corneal ulcers and even impaired vision. Dealing with Eye Fatigue The 20-20-20 rule comes in handy for computer-related eye strain: once every 20 minutes, look away from your work, fix your eyes on anything about 20 feet away from you, and carry on for 20 seconds. See an eye specialist if your eye fatigue persists. You might be candidate for presbyopia or dry eye. Eye care is crucial to all of us – not that there is a need to state that. But when we busy ourselves with too many things, we sometimes forget what really matters, such as healthy eyes.