It goes without saying that our eyes are an extremely important part of our lives. Having healthy eyes allows us to see the world more clearly and helps us maintain a better quality of life overall. Unfortunately, when we fail to take steps to care for our eyes properly, we can inadvertently increase our risk of suffering from vision pro

blems later in life. With the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimating more than 43 million Americans will develop age-related eye diseases by 2020, it’s important to take steps to care for our eyes and reduce our risk of developing eye problems.


The good news? Basic eye care guidelines are very similar to the basic health guidelines we’re told about from a young age. This means that following some standard healthy living guidelines will help you maintain better vision – and help you keep your eyes as healthy as possible – throughout your lifetime. 

At Everett & Hurite Eyecare Specialists, we are committed to providing comprehensive and personalized eye care services. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to your eye health and well-being. Trust us for exceptional eye care tailored to your needs.

To ensure that your eyes are being cared for properly, we recommend following these five basic guidelines:

1. Make Regular Doctor’s Appointments

Scheduling an annual eye exam is one of the best ways to care for your eyes. A number of eye conditions will not present with outwardly noticeable symptoms as they develop, meaning they can only be diagnosed during a dilated eye exam at your eye doctor’s office. 

During a comprehensive eye exam, you can expect the following:

  • Medical history discussion
  • Vision tests for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia
  • Assessing eye coordination
  • Eye pressure and optic nerve tests for glaucoma
  • External and microscopic examination of the eyes before and after dilation

Finding an eye problem as early as possible will allow an ophthalmologist to treat any health issues better or at least minimize the effects of the problem over time. Regular eye exams are not just about vision correction; they're also vital in identifying serious systemic health conditions, such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and hypertension. Proactive eye care through regular examinations is a key step in preserving your vision and overall health.

2) Know Your Family History.

Your family history is always an extremely important piece of information to have when working with any doctor. When dealing with your vision, it’s particularly important to know if your family has a history of diabetes or high blood pressure. Both diabetes and high blood pressure are known to affect the intricate network of tiny blood vessels in the retina - the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. Over time, these conditions can lead to serious eye diseases:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: This is a common complication of diabetes, where high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
  • Hypertensive Retinopathy: Chronic high blood pressure can also lead to hypertensive retinopathy, a condition characterized by damage to the retina's blood vessels. It can result in vision loss if not properly managed.

Moreover, certain eye diseases have a genetic component, meaning they can run in families. These include:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD): AMD is a common eye condition and one of the leading causes of vision loss among people aged 50 and older. If there is a history of AMD in your family, you may be at a higher risk.
  • Glaucoma:This condition damages the optic nerve and can lead to vision loss or blindness if left untreated. A family history of glaucoma significantly increases your risk.
  • Blindness: While less common, certain types of blindness or vision impairment can also be hereditary.

By sharing your family history with your ophthalmologist, you can ensure that they are fully informed about any potential risks. Regular screenings, coupled with this information, will help your eye care professional better address your health needs and develop a personalized care plan.

3) Watch For Changes In Your Vision Between Visits 

If you develop vision problems between your annual exams, it’s very important to see your eye doctor sooner rather than later. Even if you just had an annual eye exam – or if you’re coming in for one soon – you should call your eye doctor immediately if you begin to experience the following:

  • Vision Difficulties: Struggling to see clearly, whether close up or at a distance, could indicate a potential problem.
  • Eye Pain or Swelling: Discomfort or inflammation could be a sign of an infection or other serious condition.
  • Double or Hazy Vision: Seeing double or experiencing blurred or hazy vision can be a symptom of various eye disorders.
  • Flashes, Floaters, or Halos: Sudden appearance of flashes of light, floaters (small specks drifting across your field of central vision), or halos around lights could indicate retinal detachment or other serious eye conditions.

Remember: These symptoms could be signs of various eye disorders, some of which may lead to permanent vision loss if not addressed promptly. Therefore, even if you've recently had an eye exam or have one scheduled soon, don't wait. Contact your eye care professional immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

4) Right Protective Eye Gear

Just as you protect your skin from the sun and your head from injury, it's essential to safeguard your eyes during various day-to-day activities. The right protective eyewear can significantly reduce the risk of eye injuries and long-term vision problems.

  • Wear Sunglasses with UV Protection: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can damage your eyes, leading to conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and corneal sunburn. Wearing sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UV rays can help protect your eyes from these harmful rays.
  • Sports Eyewear: If you're engaged in sports, especially high-risk ones like hockey, baseball, or racquet sports, wearing appropriate head and eye gear becomes crucial. This can help prevent potential injuries from flying objects or falls.
  • Wear Safety Glasses: For those who work with tools, whether professionally or as a hobby, safety glasses are essential. They protect your eyes from flying debris or sharp objects that could cause serious damage.

5) Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle.

You’ve heard it before: exercising, eating right, and not smoking will help keep you healthy. The same is true for your eyes. 

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity has been associated with a lower risk of age-related eye conditions. Exercise improves blood circulation, which is essential for eye health as it ensures that your eyes receive adequate nutrients and oxygen.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet rich in fruits, leafy greens, and fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help protect your eyes. These foods contain essential nutrients like lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which have been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and other eye diseases.
  • Avoid Smoking: Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of developing eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Quitting or avoiding this habit can significantly increase your chances of maintaining good eye health.

Choose Everett & Hurite Eye Care Specialists For Top-Tier Eye Care

Taking care of your eyes is an integral part of maintaining overall health and wellness. Following these five easy yet crucial steps can significantly reduce the risk of preventable vision-related issues and maintain healthy eyesight. Remember, prioritizing regular eye exams, understanding your family history, monitoring changes in vision, wearing protective eye gear, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will keep your eyes healthy.

At Everett & Hurite Eyecare Specialists, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of eye care. Our team of experienced professionals is here to assist you every step of the way in maintaining and improving your vision.

Take the first step towards maintaining healthy vision by scheduling your next eye exam with Everett & Hurite Eyecare Specialists. Contact us today at 412-288-0858 or visit our website to discuss your eye care requirements. 

Trust your vision to the specialists who care as much about your eyes as you do.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common signs of vision problems in children?

Children may show signs of vision problems through frequent eye rubbing, squinting, avoiding reading or detailed tasks, or sitting too close to the TV. Regular eye exams are essential to detect and address these early signs.

What steps can I take to prevent dry eyes?

To prevent dry eyes, stay hydrated, use a humidifier in dry environments, take regular breaks during screen time, and consider using lubricating eye drops if necessary.

How can I prevent computer vision syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome, which can cause eye strain and fatigue, can be prevented by taking regular breaks during screen time, adjusting your computer's settings to minimize glare, and ensuring proper lighting in your workspace.

What contributes to developing cataracts?

Cataracts develop when the proteins in your eyes clump together and cloud the lens. Factors such as aging, smoking, UV radiation exposure, and certain medical conditions can contribute to the development of cataracts. Protecting your eyes from these factors can help prevent cataracts. Comprehensive dilated eye exams are crucial for early detection and treatment of potential vision problems. So make sure to schedule yours today!