Eye Health

Tips for maintaining eye health

The best ways to protect and
preserve your vision.

There are several things you can do every day to ensure your eyes stay as healthy as possible. About 2.2 billion people around the world have some kind of visual impairment. It’s estimated that in approximately half of those cases, these eye issues could have been prevented. In many ways, your eye health is in your hands.

We’ve compiled a list of simple tips you can incorporate into your daily routine that will benefit, protect and preserve your vision. These practices will not only positively impact your sight, but bolster your overall health, too.

10 tips for improved eye health

Even playtime and extracurricular activities require numerous vision skills. Additionally, as children get older, there are more demands on their vision, as textbook fonts become smaller and allotted reading times increase in later grades. 

1. Eat a balanced diet

The old adage, “you are what you eat,” has truth to it when it comes to eye health. Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for general well-being, but it also benefits ocular health. Consuming a nutrient-dense diet—which includes Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins A, C and E—has shown to improve eye health, while reducing the risk of various eye-related impairments, such as macular degeneration. Plus, eating a balanced diet will reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes—which is the leading cause of blindness.

Some foods, have been proven to benefit eye health, including: 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Salmon and other fatty fish  

  • Lutein: Egg yolks, corn, kiwi 

  • Zinc: Red meats, shellfish, legumes 

  • Vitamin A: Carrots, tuna, butternut squash 

  • Vitamin C: Oranges, red bell peppers, broccoli 

  • Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados 

2. Wear sunglasses

While sunglasses are often worn for style purposes, their primary function is to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Excessive exposure to these rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis—otherwise known as sunburned eyes. There are countless sunglass varieties to choose from but picking a pair with lenses blocking at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays is key.

3. Protect your eyes

Beyond wearing sunglasses, protective gear is sometimes necessary, depending on which activities you’re engaging in. Whether you’re playing a contact sport—such as ice hockey or lacrosse—or chopping wood, safety goggles or glasses are an absolute must. Polycarbonate lenses will protect your eyes from dangerous debris, airborne particles and any mishaps from contact sports. 

4. Follow the 20-20-20 rule

Spending a good part of the day staring at a computer screen or reading a book is inevitable, which is why it’s more important than ever to follow the 20-20-20 rule. This eyecare tips stipulates that every 20 minutes, you should focus on an object approximately 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will allow your eyes to rest and decrease eyestrain, dry eyes and blurry vision. Setting boundaries when it comes to screen time is as important for your mental health as it is for your eye health.

5. Stop smoking

There is no shortage of reasons why you should stop smoking, but protecting your vision is undoubtedly one of them. Smokers have an increased chance of developing cataracts and macular degeneration, as well as countless other diseases that lead to vision loss.

6. Exercise

Similar to how eating well benefits your eye health, so too can exercising. Regular cardio activity can decrease the likelihood of developing eye diseases related to poor blood flow like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

7. Get fresh air

Believe it or not, something as simple as getting fresh air can do wonders for your eye health. A short stroll outside can relax your eye muscles, as you focus on things further away than your screen or cellphone. Plus, going outside can reduce stress which lessens the chances of stress-related eye conditions like central serous retinopathy.

8. Keep it clean

Whether you’re a contact lens wearer or not, it’s important to keep your eyes clean. That means removing eye makeup before bed, replacing products every three months, washing your hands before touching your face, and not rubbing your eyes.

9. Use artificial, tears when needed

Hydration is essential for maintaining optimal eye health. Just as applying moisturizer is important for your skin, hydrating your eyes is essential for the same reason. If you frequently experience dry eyes, book a Dry-Eye Assessment at an FYidoctors near you.

10. Book regular eye exams

We’ve saved the most important tip for last. The best way to look after your eyes is to leave them in the hands of a professional: book regular comprehensive eye exams. Your eye doctor will detect problems before they become something serious and will ensure you’re seeing as clearly as possible. Book a comprehensive eye exam today at an FYidoctors clinic near you.