Protecting your vision now is key to preventing eye diseases later on in life. Here are a few precautions you can take each day to keep your eyes healthy:
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Your eyes require good circulation and oxygen to be healthy, and being overweight puts you at risk for diseases, like diabetes, that can affect your eyesight.
Avoid smoking. Smoking increases your risk for cataracts and other age-related vision problems that can lead to blindness.
Talk to your primary care physician to see how often you should have an eye exam — and then keep up with your appointments. In most cases, the earlier a potential vision problem is detected, the easier it is to treat.
Wear protective eyewear when playing high-risk sports, using power tools or doing anything else that may harm your eyes.
Choose sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays — exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and growths on the eye, including cancer. Look for sunglasses that say “UV400,” which block out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
Rest your eyes. When reading or working at a computer, follow the 20/20/20 rule to reduce eyestrain by taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
If you’ve been prescribed corrective lenses, make sure to wear them as instructed by an ophthalmologist — neglecting to do so can worsen any existing vision problems.
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