Help Preserve the Sense that Allows You to See

by Noelle Reinhold 3/1/2016 11:05 AM

March is National Save Your Vision Month. See how these simple steps you can help preserve your eye sight.

1. Wear Sunglasses
Protecting your eye health should be a priority 365 days a year. Overexposure to the sun can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and even skin cancer around the eyelids. When purchasing sunglasses, be sure to pick a pair that block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B rays.

2. Eat Eye-Healthy Foods
There are a variety of foods known to promote eye health that can be easily added into your diet. For example, leafy greens, carrots, peppers, broccoli, nuts and eggs can be combined to make a savory, sight-boosting salad. Most of these ingredients are packed with lutein and/or zeaxanthin, which help lower the risk of developing macular degeneration, the leading cause of legal blindness and cataracts. Carrots are among the most well-known, eye-benefiting foods. They are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant that works to fight free radicals. Almonds and walnuts are also great. Both are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for healthy eyes. Almonds are particularly rich in vitamin E, which contributes to cataract prevention.

3. Remember the 20-20-20 Rule
For many of us, a considerable amount of time is spent each day in front of a screen, and as a result, people of all ages are suffering from digital eye strain. That’s why it is important to remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break from your smartphone, tablet or television and look at something 20 feet away.

4. Rely on the Experts
Online eye tests are simply not an appropriate substitute for routine eye exams from an eye health professional and cannot be relied upon for the same level of accuracy. The same holds true when it comes to purchasing eye glasses online. In fact, according to an American Optometric Association study published in 2011 with the Optical Laboratories Association and The Vision Council, almost half of all eye glasses ordered online either had prescription errors or failed to meet the minimum standards for safety. It is recommended that you visit the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam each year. This helps increase the likelihood of early detection of eye health issues, enables you to proactively address concerns and seek advice, and ensures you get an accurate prescription.

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