Few things are as important as preserving the health of your eyes. Fortunately, by adopting a small number of key lifestyle choices and habits, you can help protect your eyes and ensure a lifetime of clear vision. Here, experienced ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Schwartz of Phoenix-area Schwartz Laser Eye Center outlines the best strategies for supporting optimal eye health.
Regular eye exams not only keep your vision sharp if you wear glasses or contacts, but also help your ophthalmologist check for issues such as glaucoma, ocular hypertension and macular degeneration. Many serious conditions that put your vision and eye health at risk have no obvious symptoms in the early stages, and can only be detected by a trained professional.
Sunglasses are an important way to protect your eyes, and not just on sunny days: Harmful ultraviolet rays easily pass through clouds and reflect off water and light-colored surfaces. Quality sunglasses with high levels of UVA and UVB protection are essential to preventing damage to your eyes and the development of conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Damaging ultraviolet rays are at the far blue end of the electromagnetic spectrum, but you can get an unhealthy dose of blue light even when you’re out of the sun. Computer screens and other digital devices emit blue light, as do high-definition TVs and the LED lights that have replaced incandescent bulbs. Using a screen filter, special glasses designed for computer use and simply limiting your screen time are all smart ways to protect your eyes and reduce strain.
Contact Lens Habits
If you wear contact lenses, keeping them free of bacteria should be a priority. When bacteria develop on lenses or in lens containers that haven’t been properly cleaned or replaced, the results can range from irritation to serious infection. And some types of eye infection can lead to loss of vision.
Feast Your Eyes
Many studies have demonstrated that a diet rich in key vitamins and minerals protects your eyes against serious diseases. Omega-3 fats found in salmon and other fish, leafy greens, fruits and vegetables high in beta carotene, and anything that is a good source of lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc should be on your shopping list. Regular exercise is important, too. There is a strong link between vigorous physical activity and improved eye health.
If you would like to learn more about eye health, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation with skilled ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Schwartz at his Phoenix, Glendale or Scottsdale office by calling or emailing Schwartz Laser Eye Center today.