Many people feel they have healthy eyes, but the initial stages of common eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration often go unnoticed. They may also not realize that they have vision problems that can easily be corrected with glasses or contacts. Some age-related eye problems are unavoidable, but in many cases, better eye health is achievable by taking certain actions.
The first step in having healthy eyes is to have regular eye exams. Eye exams are important for catching any signs of damage or disease to the eyes that may otherwise go undetected. Vision problems can also be detected and corrected with a prescription for glasses or contacts. It is important for children under the age of 18 and adults ages 40 to 60 to have regular eye exams because the eyes change the most during these age groups.
Family Health History
Some eye diseases and conditions are hereditary, so it is important to talk to family members about their eye health history. Individuals who know their hereditary risk level in potentially developing an eye disease or condition can take proactive measures to minimize the potential of damaging their eyes.
Food is the best medicine, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep the eyes healthy. Foods that are rich in Beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, and lutein help to protect the eyes and keep them functioning properly. Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon and tuna are also beneficial to eye health.
Wearing protective eyewear while doing certain activities is important for eye health. Safety glasses, eye shields, and eye guards provide protection from objects that can damage the eyes. Protective eyewear also included sunglasses that block out UV-A and UV-B radiation, which can damage the eyes.
Muscles are used to move the eyes up and down and side to side, and like all muscles in the body, eye muscles need rest to function properly. Sleep provides the eyes with constant lubrication, which prevents the eyes from drying out. Sleep also helps remove irritants like dust and allergens from the eyes. Ⓡ