Yearly physical? Check. Dentist appointment? Check. But what about your eye health?
It’s important to take care of your eyes — just like you take care of the rest of your body. Whether you’re looking forward to soaking in the view from your corner office or setting your sights on the Eiffel Tower — you can take simple steps now to make sure you’re seeing your best when that day comes.
May is Healthy Vision Month, a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute (NEI) in May 2003. “As an Ophthalmologist, there is no greater time to help share important tips to protect your eyes, as well as prevent future vision loss due to eye diseases,” says Dr. Stewart Shofner. Join the NEI along with Dr. Shofner to help spread the word about the important steps people can take to make their vision last a lifetime.
Check out a few simple tips you can keep your eyes healthy:
- Wear sunglasses (even on cloudy days!)
Sunglasses can protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and help keep your vision sharp. When shopping for shades, look for a pair that blocks out at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Eat eye-healthy foods
It’s true: carrots are good for your eyes! In fact, a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale — can help keep your eyes healthy.
- Get plenty of physical activity
Regular physical activity comes with a lot of great benefits. It can boost your mood, reduce stress, help you stay at a healthy weight — and protect you from serious eye diseases!
- Give your eyes a rest
If you spend a lot of time at the computer or on your phone, you may forget to blink — and that can tire out your eyes. Try using the 20–20–20 rule throughout the day: every 20 minutes, look away from the screen and focus about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
- Protect your eyes — at work and at play
Protect your eyes from injury by wearing protective eyewear, like safety glasses, goggles, and safety shields. To make sure you have the right kind of protective eyewear and you’re using it correctly, talk with your eye doctor.
- Know your family’s eye health history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.
- Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
- Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
Make your eye health a priority this year.
Millions of people living in the United States and thousands in middle Tennessee have undetected vision problems, eye diseases, and conditions. Please share these simple tips with your friends and loved ones. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam online or call our office at (615) 340-4733.
Show us your vision of the future! Use #MyVisionMyFuture on social media to share the steps you’re taking now to protect your vision in the future. More tips for healthy eyes visit nei.nih.gov/hvm or contact Shofner Vision Center.