Optimum eye health throughout your life can be achieved by ensuring you are doing your part. Vision is one of--if not the--most important of the five senses. It doesn’t take much to damage your vision, but it also doesn’t take much to preserve it. Learn what you can be doing to ensure your eye health stays stable throughout your life.
One of the best eye health tips we have is to see your eye doctor frequently! Every person can benefit from seeing the eye doctor. The American Optometric Association recommends that each person see their eye doctor at least every two years to assess their eye health. Patients with vision problems may have to see their doctor every year or even more often to monitor eye health and visual changes.
Optometrists and ophthalmologists both use a variety of tests to examine the eyes for visual acuity, depth perception, the presence of diseases or common conditions. We use a computerized testing unit known as a phoropter to test your eyes. You will go through a series of eye charts with lenses to determine if you have vision such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. We also check to make sure your eye muscles look normal are working, if the eyes work together, how your color vision is, and more. There are over 100 tests we can do depending on your unique needs!
You are the number one resource for detecting changes in your vision. Over time, you may notice that you see worse at different times of the day or you may notice your vision is not as clear. This is how many detect visual changes such as farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism. Visual changes can stem from medication use, age, medical conditions and more.
Changes in the vision you should look for are double vision, hazy vision, difficulty seeing at certain times of the day or difficulty seeing or reading close or at a distance. Serious eye problems that need attention include swollen or red eyes, swelling, floaters in the eye, flashes of light or any clouding or blindness. Many serious conditions can be corrected or the progression can be slowed down if a problem is caught early. One example is cataracts. If caught early, blindness can be slowed or avoided entirely.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet has shown countless benefits to the body over the years. Not only does eating healthy keep your weight down while keeping your body strong, but it also helps your eyes. The body is able to work and function from the food you give it. Nutrients are vital to many of the body’s parts to function normally and the eyes are no exception. Poor nutrition can lead to poor eyesight and vice versa.
Some foods have been found to reduce your risk of cataracts. Cataracts are a disease of the eye where the lens clouds over time until blindness occurs. The part of the eye that focuses light becomes damaged and your vision can blur or fail entirely. Antioxidants in foods such as fruits and dark green vegetables can help keep your vision healthier, longer.
One of the ways people can easily damage their eyes is from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Many are aware that UV rays can damage the skin, but they can also damage the delicate tissues of your eyes inside, under and around. Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause eye cancer as well as eye damage through cataracts and macular degeneration. Both cataracts and macular lead to blindness.
For sunglasses to offer you true protection, you must have sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVB rays and 95% of UVA rays. Many sunglasses only provide shading for the eyes without actual protection. Look for a label on the glasses to ensure your eyes are actually protected. In many cases, only professional sunglasses are equipped with the right protection. We have a wide selection of sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful rays.
Did you know that you can damage your eyes not only outside, but inside as well? This has happened with the advancement of technology in the last decade or so. Blue light is the culprit. What is blue light though? Blue light is a color in the visible light spectrum or the light that can be seen by the human eye. Blue light is in a range close to UV light, meaning this light has a short wavelength and a high amount of energy that’s hitting your eye. Natural blue light can be found in the sun’s rays that reach us. This light helps regulate our body’s natural circadian rhythm or the cycle that helps our body to know when to sleep and when to be awake.
However, blue light can be harmful in higher doses. It is found in technology such as electronic devices, digital screens (smartphones, laptops, TVs, computers, tablets) as well as fluorescent and LED lighting. Too much blue light can cause macular degeneration over time, which leads to blindness. This blindness can’t be reversed. Prevent your risk for macular degeneration with blue light glasses.
Taking care of your eyes is something you must decide to do. See your eye doctor regularly. Eat well and look for any changes in your vision. Changes are your first sign that something is amiss. Many optical problems can be avoided with proper eyewear, so invest in the right sunglasses, glasses and blue light glasses to avoid many visual problems. If you are due for an eye exam, call our Optical Masters office today at (720) 807-7600!