Keeping an Eye on your Vision’s Health

Your vision is easy to take for granted but essential to your daily functioning. In addition to getting your eyes examined every year by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, there are many other ways to protect and enhance your eyes’ health.

In honor of National Save Your Vision Month, here are some tips for keeping your eyes healthy:

1.) Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Choose sunglasses with a label that says “100% protection against both UVA and UVB” or “100% protection against UV 400.” UV rays can make you susceptible to developing cataracts or macular degeneration, and sunglasses can block out at least 99% of these harmful rays.

2.) Avoid rubbing your eyes. In addition to irritating your eyes and damaging your eyes’ blood vessels, rubbing can cause germs from your hands to get into your eyes. Make sure your hands are clean before touching your eyes.

3.) Avoid spending long periods of time looking at your computer, tablet or even your smartphone. This can make your eyes tired and can cause headaches. It is also better to use screens in ambient light conditions (not in a completely dark room) to avoid any possible retinal damage.

4.) Take proper care of contact lenses. Clean them with an appropriate contact lens solution — not an expired solution, saliva, water or a “homemade” solution — store them in a proper case and use a new contact lens case every month. Avoid sleeping or swimming with them on, and be sure to change your lenses at the recommended time.

5.) Quit smoking. Not only is this beneficial to your overall health, smoking can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and damage to your optic nerve.

6.) Eat a balanced diet with foods containing nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E. Some of these nutrients can be found in green leafy vegetables, fish, nonmeat protein sources and citrus juices.

7.) Know your family’s history of eye disease. Conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes and age-related degeneration are often passed through family genes, but also can be treated effectively if detected early.

To learn more about protecting your eye health or treatments for eye conditions, make an appointment to see one of our ophthalmologists at the Krieger Eye Institute, located at Northwest Hospital, Sinai Hospital and at Quarry Lake, by calling 410-601-2020.

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