There’s something magical about spring. It’s a time of renewal and new beginnings. A time to deep clean our homes and take stock of our health. Many people live in fear of losing their sight, yet don’t prioritize taking care of their eyes as well as they should. As an ophthalmologist in Charleston, I see this all too often. Here are some essential steps for protecting, and even improving, your eyesight:
Eat for Your Eyes
Your eyes have very specific nutritional needs, and fulfilling those needs helps keep them in the best possible condition. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in citrus fruits; green, leafy vegetables; nuts; and cold water fish provides the nutrients your eyes need to function properly.
Give Your Eyes a Break
You use your eyes every waking moment of the day. And with today’s technology, your eyes are working harder than ever. Give them adequate breaks throughout the day and plenty of sleep at night to allow them to rest, repair and recover. Remember to also rest your eyes 10 minutes for every 50 minutes you spend in front of your computer screen, television set, or book.
Grab Those Shades
We’ve all been trained to not go outside without applying sunscreen. The same UV rays that burn your skin can also do serious damage to your eyes. In fact, UV exposure is responsible for an estimated 5 to 10 percent of cataract cases. So don’t forget to grab your sunglasses before going out in the sun. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones with anti-glare lenses and 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.
Schedule an Exam
See your doctor each year to check for issues that may harm your overall eye health. Many common eye diseases, such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration, often have no warning signs and can only be detected in their early stages with a dilated eye exam. Dilating allows us to get a good look at the backs of your eyes and examine them for signs of damage or disease. You’ll want to be sure to tell us about any symptoms you are having, or changes in your eyes and vision since your last visit. Also update us on any medication you may be taking — either prescription or over-the-counter. Your eye health is part of your overall health.
Consider LASIK Surgery
LASIK surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism for improved vision, reducing or eliminating your dependency on glasses or contacts. You can enjoy swimming, playing sports and driving without prescription lenses, and sunglasses become much more affordable. Better vision can truly improve your quality of life, and spring is a great time to invest in yourself.
Your eyes are an important part of your overall health. Follow these simple steps to maintain healthy eyes and make sure you’re seeing your best.