Whether you have 20/20 vision, or your glasses are thicker than bulletproof glass, caring for your eyes is vital. Before you grab a bag of carrots, I have bad news: carrots won’t improve your eyesight. But don’t worry, here are some tips to keep your eyes healthy.
Eat Leafy Greens and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Adding more dark leafy greens to your diet is a great way to improve your eye health. These veggies essentially act as antioxidants for your eyes, protecting them from light damage and reducing the likelihood of diseases like cataracts.
Omega-3 fatty acids sound unhealthy, but they’re known to reduce eye condition symptoms and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are high in omega-3; for non-fish lovers, flaxseed, walnuts, and chia seeds work great.
Wear Your Sunglasses More Often – Even When It’s Cloudy
Yes, there’s a science-based excuse to wear your sunglasses whenever you want! The sun’s UV rays can burn your skin (hence the term sunburn), but have you thought about protecting your eyes from those same rays? Whether it’s cloudy or sunny, wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB radiation will reduce your risk of cataracts. Plus, you’ll look cool.
Schedule An Eye Exam
Did you know that 25% of adults haven’t had an eye exam in the past two years, and 9% of adults have never had an eye exam?
Luckily, all it takes is a quick phone call to set up an appointment. Regular eye exams check for potential causes of blindness like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Furthermore, doctors will ask about your family history, which greatly affects your risk of eye disease, as some can run in families.
If that’s not enough, 75% of Americans need some type of vision correction, and who doesn’t want to see better (as someone with 20/400 vision, I certainly do!)? If you often find yourself squinting or struggling to drive at night, you might be ready for a new pair of glasses.
Practice The 20/20/20 Rule
The 20/20/20 rule helps prevent your eyes from tiring, giving them a much-needed rest. If you’re watching tv, on your computer, or scrolling through social media on your phone, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds! It takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to fully “relax,” and this is extra important because humans blink 30-50% less often when staring at screens. Who knows, you might even see something extraordinary (or not).
Quit Smoking Or Continue To Not Smoke
Smoking is just as harmful to your eye health as it is for the rest of your body’s health. Research shows that smoking increases the risk of diseases that cause blindness. If you want to quit, but you’re not sure where to start, you can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free help.
We use our eyes for nearly everything we do, and taking the time to schedule regular check-ins and preventative measures for your eyes is essential. Whether your first step is rocking sunglasses on a cloudy day, devouring a bowl of dark leafy greens, or setting up that long-dreaded eye exam, go ahead and do it! Your eyes will thank you.
P.S. Carrots won’t improve your eyesight, but they’re still good for your eyes. I’m not anti-carrot.