March is National “Save Your Vision Awareness Month”.
Oregon Eye Consultants has compiled a helpful list of 10 Healthy Eye Tips for Save Your Vision Awareness Month, and we encourage you to share these tips with loved ones.
A record number of people of all ages are spending many of the hours each day looking at a computer, tablet or phone. Try this helpful trick! Limit your digital eye strain by adopting the 20/20/20 rule developed by the American Optometric Association. Take a break from your screen every 20 minutes, focusing on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Make-Over Your Make-Up
Eye make-up should be routinely replaced. Mascara and liquid liners should be used no more than 3 months, eye shadows and pencil liners no more than one year. Try and look for make-up that is free of metalics and harsh ingredients such as parabens and aluminum. Avoid water-proof eye make-up if you are a contact lens wearer. Use extreme caution when using eye-lash extensions, as they are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration because of the ingredients in glue that can potentially harm your vision. If you are considering the lash thickening prescription Latisse, please contact one of our Ophthalmologists to be sure you are a candidate.
Quit the Spit
85% of Americans are not properly cleaning or storing their contact lenses. Be sure to only use a high-quality solution to cleanse your contact lenses, and not your saliva. Saliva carries bacteria that belongs in your mouth and can be harmful to your eye. Same for tap water – keep those contaminates out of your eye. It is helpful to carry a travel size solution with you to avoid these unhealthy short cuts.
Eat the Rainbow
Your eye health is just as responsive to your diet as heart health. Key nutrients in leafy greens, berries, beets, citrus and even certain fish (high in Omega 3s) are important for healthy vision. A balanced diet of colorful fruits and veggies, eggs and fish is incredibly beneficial in maintaining all areas of your health.
Work it Out
Just like exercise reduces your blood pressure, it also reduces your eye pressure which is beneficial for reducing your risk of Glaucoma. Running or walking can reduce the risk of age-related cataracts. Exercising 3-4 times a week can also reduce your risk of AMD (age related macular degeneration). Since many eye diseases are related to high-blood pressure and diabetes, a well-rounded week with physical activities and a healthy diet can help alleviate progression of the diseases.
Staying hydrated is important for the health of your eye. Dehydration reduces the lubrication of your eye, which can make eye-strain and dry-eye even more uncomfortable. Dehydration can even cause blurred vision and headaches. Just like proper diet and exercise is important for your overall health, hydration is another way to keep those headaches at bay, so be sure you are getting enough water.
Green Tea is known for it’s various health benefits, but did you know it contains nutrients for healthy eyes? Green tea has Vitamins A and C, lutein and zeaxanthin which are known as ” the eye vitamins” because they have been found offer protection of the development and progression of AMD.
Ditch the Smokes
Smoking has been linked to notable increased risk for Glaucoma, Cataracts, AMD and diabetic retinopathy. Smokers are also twice as likely to develop Uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea that can lead to vision loss. Smoke also exacerbates dry-eye conditions. The good news is, people who quit smoking almost reduce their risk in-line with people who have never smoked.
Wear your sunglasses, your hats and your protective goggles when necessary. When the days are longer and the sun is shining, don’t forget to protect your eyes with 100% UV blocking glasses. Donning a hat is also an extra layer of protection. Just like sunscreen protects your skin, these protect your eyes from light damaging rays. Remember to wear those glasses while driving in the sun! Those windows don’t give you as much protection as you might think. Sun damage can happen quickly, but it also compounds over time, so it is important to be diligent.
The same goes for protective goggles if you are participating in a sport, or working in your garage. The dangers of playing baseball, for example, can result in orbital fractures, cornea abrasions or even a retinal detachment. Protective eye wear is key in reducing sports-related eye injuries. Even in your garage, protective goggles can reduce the risk of airborne particles from woodworking or other projects entering your eyes.
Get to your Eye Doctor
Annual exams go well beyond just having blurry vision. They can detect serious health concerns. For example, diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed with a dilated eye exam. Glaucoma is a silent, sneaky disease that often times can go unnoticed until there is irreparable vision loss.
Don’t forget the Kids
Kids are developing Myopia (nearsightedness) at an alarming rate, and it is affecting all adolescent ages. Since eyesight affected this way progresses to worsening vision, kids that are diagnosed at a young age are at risk for developing glaucoma and cataracts later in life. Often parents don’t take their children in for a comprehensive eye exam because they are being substituted for school offered vision screenings. Vision screenings are just that, a screening. It can alert parents to a possible issue, but often times the screening is given by parent volunteers, and not an actual health provider. It is estimated that up to 75% of the time, school screenings miss a vision problem*. Be sure to get your children in for a comprehensive eye exam with a ophthalmologist or optometrist.
*For more information, check out this eye health initiative (to spread awareness) at https://thinkaboutyoureyes.com/
To make an appointment with one of our 6 Ophthalmologists, check out our website and get to know our Physicians, and how they can help.