We rely more heavily on our eyes than any other sensory organ, and yet far too often we neglect to take care of them. When our eyes are red or irritated, we simply squeeze in a few drops from the pharmacy and hope that will do the trick. However, eyes are very sensitive, and need far more than eye drops to keep them healthy.

Tips for Healthy Eyes

Beyond the occasional eye drop, it’s important to follow these tips for maintain healthy eyes and preventing future damage:

• Eat Well. Whether you realize it or not, what you eat has an effect on your eyes and their overall health. To fight off age-related vision problems, studies show you need nutrients like omega-3, lutein, zinc, fatty acids, and vitamins C and E. Specifically, try eating leafy, green veggies like spinach, collards, or kale, fish that are high in omega-3, non-meat protein sources like eggs, beans, and nuts, and citrus fruits or juices.

• Wear Sunglasses. One of the no-brainer tips is wearing sunglasses. However, did you know not all sunglasses are created equal? You need sunglasses that will protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays. When shopping, aim for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of these rays. If possible, look for wraparound and polarized lenses.

• Quit Smoking. It’s no surprise that smoking has a negative impact on your heart and lungs, but did you know it is also detrimental to your eyes? Smoking has been shown to increase the likelihood of cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage.

• Stop Straining. Chronic eye strain can lead to a variety of problems. This can be avoided by taking a break from straining activities, lubricating the eyes more often, and blinking more frequently.

• Contact Care. Just wearing contacts doesn’t mean your eyes are healthy. You must take responsible care of your contacts and avoid wearing them when your eyes are irritated, as this can exacerbate existing issues.

• Stay Active. Regular exercise has been shown to improve eye health by increasing circulation and diminishing pressure within the eyes. This helps those with glaucoma and can prevent future issues.

• Regular Checkups. One of the most important things you can do for your eyes is scheduling regular checkups and exams. Even when there doesn’t seem to be an issue, an experienced optometrist should be consulted to verify that everything is okay.

About Eye Exams and Checkups

Eye exams and checkups are important for a variety of reasons and usually include a review of personal and family health history, evaluations of distance and near vision, and evaluations for presbyopia, astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, eye pressure tests, and interior problems.

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