Your eyes are an important part of your overall health. The following are a few tips to keep your eyes healthy and to lower your risk of eye injuries:
- Wear protective eye wear. Wear protective eye wear when playing sports or doing activities around the home or workplace.
- Wear sunglasses when exposed to the sun. Protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) exposure by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV radiation.
- Have routine eye exams. Even if you believe that your vision is fine and that your eyes are healthy, it’s beneficial to have your eyes examined on a routine basis by an eye care professional, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
- Eat right to protect your sight. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale or collard greens, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut — are beneficial for eye health.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions, which may lead to vision impairment or loss.
- Don’t smoke. In addition to being detrimental to your health overall, smoking is bad for your eyes. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage — all of which can lead to vision impairment or loss.
- Give your eyes a rest. Eye strain is a result of spending a significant amount of time focused on one thing, such as a computer. For general eye health, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away approximately 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
- Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Also, disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.
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