April is Eye Health Awareness Month, which means it’s important to remain vigilant with your vision. Heartland has a few tips to help you keep your eyesight strong.
An ounce of prevention
The first step to maintaining your eyesight is prevention. First, it’s a good idea to get periodic eye exams. This means an exam every 2 to 3 years for healthy patients under 50, and yearly for those above 50. It’s also helpful to know your family’s history when it comes to vision health.
For physical dangers, always where eye protection when doing an activity that involves risk to your eyes, like sports or handling firearms. Anything that involves hammering, saws or other construction equipment also requires eye protection. If you smoke, quit immediately! Smoking is a large risk factor in macular degeneration. If you’re diabetic, you’ll need to schedule regular eye exams as well.
Leading a healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward making sure your eyes stay healthy. Getting the proper dietary nutrients is important, especially vitamins A, C and E, which are crucial for one’s eyesight. Watch your weight, blood pressure and and cholesterol.
There are also a few practices that will help you to reduce strain on your eyes. For every hour sitting in front of a screen, allow your eyes at least five minutes of rest. That could simply include looking away from your screen and staring off into space.
Be sure to blink regularly, too. Forceful blinking relieves strain on your eyes if you’ve been focusing on a book or screen. If you’re in the middle of a long drive, alternatively focus on the dashboard and a faraway object. The chance in focus will relax your eye muscles and prevent strain.