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Whether you have 20/20 vision or you can't see a thing without your glasses on, your eyes become more vulnerable to certain health conditions with age. Our latest blog explains what you can do to help prevent glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts so that you can enjoy clear, healthy vision for years to come.

1. Vitamins Can Protect Your Vision  

Research shows that antioxidants and anti-inflammatories can actually helpdecrease the risk of age-related eye disease. Moreover, eating a nutrient-dense, balanced diet helps to maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is also fantastic for your eyes. Aim to increase your intake of vitamins A, C, E, and the nutrient lutein to give your eyes protective benefits. 

  • Vitamin A helps support the cornea and is found in oily fish, cheese, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and carrots. 
  • Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can lower your risk of developing cataracts. Good sources of this vitamin include broccoli, peppers, and citrus fruits.
  • Vitamin E is thought to slow the damage incurred by age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Nuts, seeds, and avocados are all excellent sources. 
  • Lutein is a carotenoid, which is a type of vitamin related to beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Lutein may help reduce oxidative retina damage andfilter out blue light. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are rich in lutein.

2. Give Up Smoking 

For decades, smoking has been linked to heart disease and lung cancer, but did you know it can also contribute to vision loss and blindness? If you smoke, you aretwice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration and up to three times more likely to get cataracts than a nonsmoker. Smoking can also increase your risk of developing glaucoma,diabetic retinopathy, anddry eyes. For help kicking the habit, check out the American Lung Association's free online smoking cessation programhere.

3. Work Some Cardio Into Your Routine

Cardio improves blood circulation all over our bodies, including our eyes. Since many eye diseases are linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, exercise is a simple yet effective way to offset eye health problems. Increased blood and oxygen flow to the retina and optic nerve is highly beneficial for our vision, particularly for those living withglaucoma.  

4. Wear Sunglasses With UVA And UVB Protection

To avoid the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) light, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays. If you don't have sunglasses on hand, wear a wide-brimmed hat or a visor pulled down low to shade your eyes from the light. 

5. Take Steps To Avoid Eye Strain 

Digital eye strain is more difficult to avoid now than ever before. One of the lead contributors to eye strain is prolonged exposure to high-energy blue light, which our eyes are not very good at blocking out.  

Follow these tips to minimize your risk of eye strain:

  • Wear computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses to filter out blue light.
  • Position your computer screen 20 to 24 inches from your eyes.
  • Keep the top of your computer screen slightly below eye level.
  • Follow the 20/20/20 rule - focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

6. Get Regular Eye Exams

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to protect your vision is getroutine eye exams. An eye exam allows your eye doctor to observe any and all signs of degenerative conditions and take immediate action to prevent further damage to your eyesight. Routine eye exams are especially critical for those in high-risk groups, such as people with diabetes, hypertension, and those who have a genetic predisposition to eye diseases. If you fall into any one of those categories, you will most likely need to see aneye doctor more than once a year.

Protect Your Vision with Everett & Hurite

Maintaining eye health is a multifaceted effort requiring not only awareness but also the adoption of healthy habits. A diet rich in essential vitamins, refraining from smoking, incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your routine, and wearing proper eye protection are crucial steps to protect your eyes from conditions that can impair vision. By integrating these practices into our daily lives, we can work towards ensuring long-term eye health for a clearer future.

The expert ophthalmologists at Everett & Hurite are committed to providing high-quality eye care to patients of all ages. Our eye specialists are equipped with the latest technology to accurately diagnose a wide variety of eye conditions, and can develop a customized treatment plan based on your individual needs. We have 10 offices conveniently located in Western Pennsylvania. Request an appointment with one of the physicians or call 412-288-0858.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I have an eye exam?

Routine eye exams are recommended every 1-2 years for adults, depending on their age and risk factors. Children should have their first eye exam at 6 months old, then again at age 3, and before starting school. Those with certain medical conditions or a family history of eye disease may need more frequent exams. Talk to our expert ophthalmologists at Everett & Hurite for a personalized recommendation.

What are the signs of an eye disease?

Some common signs and symptoms of eye disease include blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing in low light, changes in color perception, and floaters or flashes of light. However, many eye diseases have no symptoms in their early stages. Make sure to wear eye protection and get regular eye exams to catch any issues before they progress.

Can contact lenses damage my eyes?

When used properly, contact lenses usually do not damage the eyes. However, improper care and handling can lead to infections or other complications. To maintain healthy eyes while using contact lenses, it's important to follow the recommended cleaning and wearing schedule provided by our eye doctor at Everett & Hurite.

I am always on my computer. How can I protect my eyes?

Several steps can help minimize your risk of computer vision syndrome (CVS). Wearing computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses, positioning your screen at a proper distance and angle, taking regular breaks to rest your eyes, and incorporating the 20/20/20 rule can all help prevent CVS.