It’s easy to take your sight for granted. Think about everything you’ve seen today: your reflection in the mirror, your family, your phone, your neighbor’s adorable dog, your food before you guided it to your mouth, your journey to work, your coworkers, your favorite coffee shop, and on and on the list goes. Now imagine not being able to see those things – it’s a sobering thought. Your eyes, though powerful, are delicate. While your eyes have a protective layer called the sclera, it isn’t nearly as strong as your bones. In addition, your retinas are very sensitive to harsh UV rays, and chemicals and debris have the ability to impair your vision as well. With all the daily threats to your vision, it’s important to learn how to protect your eyes. By taking a few precautions, you can preserve your vision and keep your eyes safe and healthy.
How to Protect Your Eyes
Wear Protective Eye Gear
You don’t have to be a chemist to benefit from a pair of goggles. Mowing your lawn, dusting elevated surfaces, and cleaning with harsh chemicals like bleach are all chores that require protective eye gear. It only takes a drop of bleach, a sharp grain of dust, or a wood chip to damage your eyesight forever.
Sunglasses are also important eye gear. Did you know that damage on your retina accumulates? What starts out as normal damage from day-to-day sun exposure adds up to permanent vision loss. Over time, sun exposure can even cause cataracts. While this issue can be resolved with surgery, it is much easier to commit to wearing sunglasses. When shopping for sunglasses, look for a pair that blocks ultraviolet sun rays.
Visit an Eye Doctor Regularly
If you want to learn how to protect your eyes, remember to visit your eye doctor at least once a year. However, if you have a history of diabetes or another health issue that can affect your eyes, your doctor might recommend more frequent visits. When you visit an optometrist, he or she might perform an optical coherence tomography scan. This scan allows your optometrist to get a 3-dimensional view of your eyes, which can help him or her spot problems like a macular pucker or edema. You should also contact your eye doctor immediately if you notice any changes in your vision, like floaters or dark spots.
A Healthy Lifestyle Protects Your Eyes
What you put into your body affects your eye health. After all, every cell in your body relies on nutrients to divide. If a certain food benefits your body, it is most likely good for your eyes as well. Fill your diet with fish, legumes, nuts, raw red peppers, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables.
It can be hard to get all of your required nutrients every day. If your doctor is concerned that you’re not giving your eyes what they need to thrive, he or she may recommend that you supplement with these vitamins:
- Vitamin C: This vitamin supports the health of your eyes’ blood vessels and may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Science suggests it could also lower your risk of getting cataracts (source).
- Zinc: Some research suggests that zinc delays age-related sight loss and macular degeneration.
Exercise is also very important for eye health. Research shows that moderate exercise has a positive impact on ocular perfusion pressure, which is an important factor in avoiding glaucoma.
For further guidance regarding how to protect your eyes, talk to a trusted optometrist. If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Heffington’s. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!