Taking Care of Your Sight: Celebrate “Save Your Vision” month by taking pre-emptive steps to protect your eyesight

Vision loss is one of the leading issues facing aging Floridians, impacting most adults between the ages of 41 and 60. The good news: There are ways to reduce your risk of vision loss and the development of eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and dry eye. In recognition of “Save Your Vision” month, here are six pre-emptive steps you can take to protect your eyesight.

Maintain a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet

We all know the saying, “Eat your carrots and you’ll have good eyesight.” Well, it’s true! In addition to improving your overall health, a healthy, well-balanced diet can help protect your eyesight. Foods that contain certain nutrients like lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc can reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataract formation.

Get Regular Eye Exams

As with most things, early intervention is key to avoiding vision problems. Regularly visit your primary care or eye specialist for a comprehensive dilated eye exam, and get screened for cataracts, diabetic eye disease, and glaucoma. These ailments can possibly be prevented if detected early enough.

Exercise Regularly

It’s a proven fact: The more you exercise, the healthier you’ll be. But did you know this also applies to eye health? Those who exercise regularly can reduce their risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent. This is because physical exertion helps reduce inflammation and irregularities in the blood vessel walls associated with the wet form of the disease.

Beware of Eye Fatigue

Everyday activities like reading, writing, or looking at a computer screen may seem harmless, but in excess, these activities can lead to eye fatigue. Symptoms of eye fatigue include eye discomfort, double vision, and an overall change in vision. While reading, writing, or looking at a screen, be sure to take a break if your eyes begin to feel tired or crossed.

Say “No” to Smoking

Simply put, tobacco is one of the most dangerous things you can put into your body. Among a laundry list of other health issues, smoking cigarettes is one of the leading causes of vision loss, associated with vision problems like cataracts, macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome.