Seeing is so common, we often take our eyesight for granted. We may complain about a dirty floor or a cloudy day, but the fact that we can see these things is quite beautiful. However, the vision can easily change and become impaired. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 253 million people have vision impairment. Over 80 percent of cases can be avoided or treated.
Below we share five simple and easy things that you can do to protect your vision.
1. Wear Sunglasses
Ultraviolet rays burn the eyes in the same way that they burn the skin. To protect your eyes from cataracts and retina damage, wear sunglasses when you spend time outdoors. Choose shades that block UVA and UVB rays and filter out 75 to 90 percent of visible light. Wear them whenever you are outside, including cloudy days
2. Visit the Eye Doctor
By seeing the ophthalmologist regularly, most eye conditions can be caught early. The American Optometric Association recommends the following schedule:
● One exam at 6 months
● One exam at 3 years old
● One exam before 6 years old
● Every two years for 6-18 year-olds
● Every two-three years for 18-40 year-olds
● Every two years for 41-60 year-olds
● Every year for 60 years and older
Keep in mind that this schedule is only a guide and doesn’t take into consideration people who wear corrective lenses or have a history of ocular disease, hypertension or diabetes. These factors will require additional exams.
3. Wear Sports Goggles
Most sports-related eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear. Make it a habit for everyone in the family to wear sports goggles. Kids should wear them when playing sports, and adults should wear them when mowing the lawn or working on home improvement projects. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends only wearing ANSI-approved glasses.
4. Eat an Antioxidant-Rich Diet
Carrots have been best known for offering eye-boosting benefits, but many fruits and vegetables fall into this category. Focus on a diet that is high in antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E. Research shows that foods like papayas, cantaloupe, green peppers, strawberries, oranges and grapefruit may lower the risk of age-related eye diseases and cataracts.
5. Use Digital Devices Carefully
Looking at your smartphone, tablet or computer screen for hours at a time can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS). Though CVS won’t lead to vision impairment, it can create headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. To prevent this from happening, take frequent breaks when using your devices. Blink often to prevent dryness, and reduce glare by using appropriate lighting.
If your vision is impaired, it may be difficult to restore. Take the proper steps to protect yourself today and enjoy better vision for years to come!