The eyes are an important, but often overlooked, part of your overall health. Healthy vision can help keep people safe while driving, walking, or performing tasks at home or at work. Here are some helpful tips to lower your risk of developing vision problems and improve your well-being.
DIET. Don’t wait for the New Year to start your diet…start NOW. Certain vitamins and minerals found in food may play a role in preventing two common causes of vision problems: cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Enjoy a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits in your everyday diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are long linked to heart health, may also help prevent age-related vision loss, they can be found in salmon and flaxseed.
EXERCISE. Regular physical activity promotes eye health. Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight will decrease risks of developing Type 2 diabetes, which can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. New studies also suggest that exercise may guard against eye damage and reduce risk of developing macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.
SMOKING. Smoking dramatically raises your risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. The longer you can avoid cigarettes, the more your blood vessels will benefit and inflammation will ease off throughout your eyes and the rest of you. If you smoke, please stop.
EYE PROTECTION. "You'll shoot your eye out" is a memorable quote from the movie A Christmas Story. Children that do not wear eye protection can lose an eye to crossbows, darts, air guns and other projectile toys. Adults need protective eyewear while using chemicals, lawn equipment, sharp objects, or materials such as wood shavings, to avoid impact/injuries to the eyes.
Wearing UV protective sunglasses will also protect your eyes from developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium (a growth of tissue over the white part of the eye also known as "surfer's eye").
Our eyes have been called "the window to our soul." It turns out, they also are often a very effective window to our overall health. You may not associate eating vegetables or exercising as essential toward better vision, but they do play a role. Even if your eyes feel healthy, you could have a problem and not know it, as many eye diseases don’t have any symptoms or warning signs. At Shofner Vision Center we strive to provide best vision care in middle Tennessee. If your vision has changed, you have difficulty seeing, or it’s been over a year since your last exam, it’s time to schedule an eye exam. Stay well, stay healthy!