Keeping your eyes healthy is an important part of taking care of your overall health. From understanding the importance of regular eye exams to knowing the common risk factors for eye diseases, understanding how your eyes work is the first step in taking care of them. Here are 8 important facts you should know about your eyes and eye health that can help you keep your vision in tip top shape. Knowing these facts will help you understand the importance of eye health and give you the tools you need to keep your vision clear for years to come.
The importance of regular eye exams
The single most important thing you can do to maintain healthy eyes is to have regular eye exams. Some eye diseases can be detected by an eye doctor during an exam, which can lead to more timely treatment, a better prognosis and protection against loss of vision. While many eye diseases don’t have symptoms, having regular exams will help ensure you don’t have eye damage that you don’t know about. All children and adults over 40 who don’t have any eye disease or vision problems should have regular eye exams. The most important thing to know about eye exams is that they’re not just for people who are already experiencing eye issues. They’re also important for people who have no current symptoms but want to protect themselves from eye diseases in the future. Eye exams can catch vision-threatening diseases early, when they can be more easily treated.
Common risk factors for eye diseases
Age – As we age, our eyes experience degenerative changes that may lead to eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and retinal degeneration. While there aren’t any ways to stop these changes, having regular eye exams can help catch vision-threatening diseases as early as possible.
Gender – Women are at higher risk than men of developing diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. This may be because of the reduced blood flow in women’s eyes that causes problems with circulation in the retina. Genetics – If you have a family history of eye diseases, you may be more likely to develop certain eye diseases, even if you aren’t following an eye-healthy lifestyle.
How to protect your eyes from UV light
UV light from the sun can cause a variety of eye diseases, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and increased risk of corneal infections and pink eye. While wearing sunglasses with UV protection is an important part of eye health, it’s also important to wear them correctly. Most sunglasses have a sticker on the lens that says the sunglasses block 99% of UV light. To be properly protected, you want to make sure those sunglasses are blocking 100% of UV light. While UV protection is important, it’s also important to make sure the sunglasses you’re wearing don’t block enough light to cause eye strain. To make sure they don’t, look for sunglasses that have a light transmission rating of 80% or higher.
Signs and symptoms of common eye diseases
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye diseases among older adults. AMD is a degenerative eye condition that can cause blindness if left untreated. Early symptoms of AMD can include distorted or blurry vision in one or both eyes, especially when looking at a computer or reading. There are no early warning signs for AMD, so it’s important to get regular eye exams from an eye doctor to help detect it as early as possible.
Cataracts are another common cause of blindness in people with diabetes. A cataract is when the eyes become cloudy, causing your vision to look blurry and not as colorful. Developing this disease also brings more sensitivity to your natural eyes. It is crucial that you find a cataract surgeon in your area so you are informed of the treatments that are effective for you.
Tips for better eye health
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables with lots of different color pigments can help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and other eye diseases. Certain foods are also important for keeping eyes healthy, like vitamin C, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin. Protect Your Eyes From UV Light – Wear sunglasses with UV protection when you’re outside and make sure they aren’t too dark to cause eye strain. Don’t Smoke – Smoking is a major risk factor for macular degeneration and other eye diseases. It can also increase the risk of cataract and damage to the retina.
The single most important thing you can do to maintain healthy eyes is to have regular eye exams. Age, gender, genetics and diet all play a part in your risk of developing eye diseases. While eye diseases usually don’t have any symptoms in the early stages, having regular exams can help catch vision-threatening diseases as early as possible. To keep your eyes healthy, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and wearing sunglasses when you’re outside. It’s also important to protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses with the right protection and avoiding smoking.