When patients are diagnosed with an ocular disorder, they sometimes ask what they could have done to prevent it. Although many eye conditions are influenced by genetics, the eye doctors at Access Eye do have some general eye health tips that can reduce your risk for developing certain eye and vision problems in the future:
Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors
Ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun are harmful to the health of your eyes. Whenever you plan to spend time outdoors in the daylight, regardless of the season, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. You should also put them on when it is overcast, or you are driving in the car since the clouds and your windshield do not adequately block out UV. Many types of sunglasses do not actually fully block out UVA and UVB rays, so when buying sunglasses, look for a pair that advertises 100% protection.
Wash Your Hands
While it is a good idea to touch your eyes as little as possible, if you are like most people, you may put your fingers on your eyes many times throughout the day without even realizing it. To minimize the chance of harm, regularly wash your hands. There are many diseases that get spread directly to the eye via unwashed hands, including pink eye (conjunctivitis), staph and chlamydia.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The nutrients in the foods you consume are necessary to fuel your body. Your eyes are no exception — they also thrive on certain vitamins. Pack your diet full of foods that have lutein, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and vitamins B and C to reduce your risk of eye conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Give Your Eyes a Screen Break
In this digital age, you may spend an alarming amount of time looking at screens: a computer for work, phone for social media and television for entertainment. Cutting down on screentime is good, but some of this screentime may be unavoidable. When that is the case, there are tips you can follow to try to avoid eye strain and dry eye. One good rule is to look away from the screen and stare at a blank wall for twenty seconds after about 20 minutes of looking at a screen to provide your eyes with some relief.
Come to Access Eye for an Eye Exam
While following these suggestions is a good way to protect your eyes, the healthiest habit of all is to schedule your comprehensive eye examinations yearly. The doctors at Access Eye will screen for a long list of potential conditions. Early detection and treatment are the best ways to preserve your vision so that it lasts a lifetime. For an appointment at one of our Fredericksburg, King George, Spotsylvania or Stafford offices, please call (540) 371-2020.