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Six Simple Eye Health Tips You Can Start Today!

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You only get one set of eyes! As such, it's critical to emphasize to your patients the importance of protecting and improving their eye health. Fortunately, following simple eye health tips can go a long way in protecting their eyes against diseases and vision loss. 

While age and genetics are two risk factors that may be out of your patients’ control, we have outlined a few simple steps you can tell your patients that will help improve their eye health. Continue reading to learn more. 

Eat Foods That Support Eye Health

When it comes to protecting eye health, you are what you eat. This means diet may play a critical role in eye health. Foods containing eye-enhancing vitamins, minerals, and other valuable nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc are key for a healthy set of eyes. 

These essential vitamins and nutrients are found in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, fatty fish, eggs, and nutritional supplements. How important is your diet to your eye health? To put it simply — very. 

A National Eye Institute study found that these nutrients, along with lutein and zeaxanthin, can prevent or slow the progression of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50, according to the American Optometric Association.

Wear Protective Eyewear

Whether your patient works in the sun all day or occasionally steps outside, it's critical to inform your patient to protect his/her eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays. 

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun's Rays

Talk to your patient about sunglasses! As you may know, some are uniquely designed to protect the eyes against ultraviolet rays. Try to educate your patient about this and help him/her come to an informed decision on what sunglasses to buy. It is also important your patient understands to wear them whenever he/she is outside — even on cloudy days. The NEI recommends sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. 

Protect Your Eyes from Dangerous Projectiles

If your patient works around chemicals, is in the construction industry, or is involved in any activity that could place him/her at risk of an eye injury or infection, it's vital that he/she wears the proper protective eyewear. It's also a good idea to wear protective wear if your patient plays sports to prevent a finger or ball from causing serious damage.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad and can impact virtually every aspect of life, including eye health. Smoking increases the likelihood of developing certain eye diseases that can lead to vision loss. Specifically, smoking can harm the optic nerve and increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. 

In fact, smoking doubles the risk of AMD, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF). Late-stage AMD results in loss of central vision and reduced ability to read, drive, judge distance, and distinguish colors. Simultaneously, smoking worsens many eye problems such as dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and uveitis.

Exercise and Stay Active

Being physically active is important in staying healthy. It can also do a world of good for the eyes! Exercise and an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, that are all linked to eye diseases. They include diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Exercise is also a way to manage these and other health issues known to threaten vision.

Determine If Your Patient Is At Risk

Age remains a big risk factor for eye diseases and eye conditions that interfere with proper vision. Other risk factors include:

  • Eye trauma
  • Being overweight or obese
  • A family history of eye disease
  • Race

AMD and glaucoma are known to "run in the family." Make sure you discuss your patient’s family history at his/her eye exam, as well as diagnose any abnormal symptoms. In most instances, the sooner the diagnosis the more productive the therapies will be. To patients: be sure to tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure or diabetes since they are associated with vision loss and blindness.

A Routine Eye Exam Is the Top Eye Health Tip 

If your patient is looking to maintain excellent eye health, the best step he/she can take is to have regularly scheduled eye exams (every one to two years). The frequency varies based on risk factors, age, and whether the patient currently wears contact lenses or eyeglasses. It's especially important for children to have regular eye exams to detect vision problems early that may interfere with their development. 

Questions? Contact Keeler today!

We have been manufacturing diagnostic ophthalmic equipment for eye care professionals for over 100 years in our vision to contribute to a world without vision loss. We have a large inventory of ultrasonic and diagnostic equipment as well as a pharmaceutical and PPE line. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call our toll free number at 1-800-523-5620 or email us at [email protected]

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.