It’s a simple fact that our bodies start to wear with age, and so do our eyes. Approximately 37 million American adults suffer from a sight-threatening condition, including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, but making healthy life choices at home can help reduce your risk of vision loss.
“You might think keeping up to date on your comprehensive eye exams and renewing your prescription is enough to preserve your vision, but there’s so much more you can do,” says Dr. Vivienne Velasco of iFocus Vision Center. “Healthy habits can go a long way, and you might even be doing some of these things without knowing how they benefit your eyesight.”
As May is designated as Healthy Vision Month, Dr. Velasco is sharing four healthy life choices that can preserve your vision.
Physical activity, and we don’t just mean intensive exercise, can protect your vision by reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Just taking a walk around the house or neighborhood, or doing some simple stretches while you’re at home can get your blood pumping. The more you do to maintain your overall body health, the more you’ll benefit your vision in the long run.
Stock Up On Eye-Friendly Foods
Maybe carrots aren’t your thing, but there are plenty of other eye-friendly foods that you can add to your diet. Leafy greens such as spinach and kale, fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, eggs, oranges, and sweet potatoes all contain nutrients that will benefit your eyesight. If you’re already thinking about switching to a new diet, you might consider the Mediterranean Diet, which can greatly reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
At the same time, you’ll want to cut out foods that can increase your risk of eye disease, such as foods high in sugar and starch.
Give Your Eyes a 20-20-20 Break
Screen time has become one of the greatest threats to our eyesight, as many of us can’t seem to pull ourselves away from phones, tablets, and laptops while we’re relaxing at home. Dr. Velasco advocates for the “20-20-20” rule, in which you can take a break from your screen every 20 minutes by focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Quiz Your Family About Eye Health
As some eye diseases are genetic, it’s important that you know everything there is to know about your family’s eye health history. Take a moment to reach out to relatives and ask about glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, or any other condition that may concern you. Then, make sure you share that information with Dr. Velasco, so she understands what steps you’ll need to take to decrease your risk and keep you seeing clear.
Are you still working from home? If so, there are plenty more things you can do to preserve your vision. Check out Dr. Velasco’s tips for designing an eye-friendly home office and make sure to keep a list of your questions ahead of your next eye exam.
iFocus Vision Center remains open with strict guidelines in place to protect patients and staff members. Patients with an urgent need are seen by appointment only, and iFocus offers curbside pickup for eyeglasses or contact lens refills. To schedule an appointment, contact us at 702-473-5660.