July is Healthy Vision Month and the focus this year is on maintaining eye health and vision for the whole family. Protecting your family’s vision is one of the most important things you can do for long-term health and well-being. Following these recommendations from leading vision and health organizations can help ensure healthy eyes and clear vision for life for yourself and your loved ones.
1. Get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect vision problems and eye diseases early. See an eye care professional for a dilated eye exam every 1-2 years. Early detection of eye diseases is critical to avoiding vision loss.
2. Know your family’s eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, since some are hereditary. This knowledge can help inform the specific kinds of screening and treatments you may benefit from based on higher risks.
3. Eat right to protect your sight: In particular, eat plenty of dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, and fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, albacore tuna, trout, and halibut. The vitamins and nutrients in leafy greens and the omega-3s in these fatty fish are important for eye health and protect your vision.
4. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts strain on your body and can lead to diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of blindness. Shedding extra pounds reduces your risks of chronic disease and vision loss.
5. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home, such as painting, yard work, and home repairs. Standard eyewear may not provide adequate protection and impact-resistant eyewear should be worn to prevent injuries from debris, balls, racquets or other objects that could damage your eyes.
6. Quit smoking or never start. Smoking significantly accelerates age-related vision decline and increases the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Both tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure should be avoided for optimal eye health and longevity of good vision.
7. Wear sunglasses that block 99 percent-100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. Too much sun exposure over the years can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. UV-blocking sunglasses prevent this cumulative sun damage to the eyes.
8. Wash your hands before taking out your contacts and cleanse your contact lenses properly to avoid infection. Contact lens wearers must be meticulous about hygiene and follow the recommended lens care standards to lower risks of eye infections that could potentially cause vision loss.
9. Practice workplace eye safety. Wear proper safety goggles or protective eyewear matched to the specific job or task to avoid occupational eye injuries from particles, dust, chemicals and other hazards. Workplace eye protection is required for many jobs to safeguard vision.
10. Get your family’s eyes checked. Make an appointment with CHC Optometry today! With 28 clinic locations across the central coast, we offer Optometry services at 4 total sites in San Luis Obispo County and in northern Santa Barbara County.
Our eyesight is a precious gift. See an eye doctor regularly, eat right, quit smoking, and take other steps to keep your eyes healthy for life. When it comes to vision health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How will you safeguard your family’s sight this month?