The National Eye Institute recognizes May as Healthy Vision Month. The primary focus of this month is to raise the public awareness to the benefits of routine eye care and how to minimize the risks of vision problems.
First and foremost, everyone should have routine dilated eye examinations by a qualified eye care professional. Without dilation, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for the eye care professional to fully assess the entire visual system. While someone may have no problems seeing, they can have active pathology that may rob them of vision in the future. With a comprehensive dilated eye examination, your eye care provider will be able to provide you peace of mind as to whether your visual system is completely healthy.
Another very important aspect of maintaining healthy vision is diet and exercise. Eating leafy green vegetables, fish high in omega 3, and fruits help by reducing risks of diseases such as macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and diabetes. Exercise is vitally important also. Keeping body weight and blood pressure under control helps maintain healthy eyes by reducing the potential for diabetes and hypertension.
Wearing sunglasses will protect your eyes from ultraviolet light. Sunglasses need to be rated at least UV400. Ultraviolet light has been shown to contribute to cataract growth, macular degeneration, pterygium, and pingueculae. Children are very susceptible to the effects of ultraviolet light and should also wear sunglasses. A bonus to wearing sunglasses for all of us……. They minimize wrinkles around your eyes and forehead!!!
Finally, with all the near work we do with computers, phones, and tablets, eye strain, headaches, and dry eye are drastically on the rise. It is recommended that the 20/20/20 rule be considered when doing such tasks. This rule states that for every 20 minutes of near work done, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows us to change our focus which is helpful in reducing the chronic strain encountered during protracted near tasks. Using non-preserved artificial tears can help with discomfort from dryness and allow for clearer for comfortable vision while doing near tasks.
All in all, routinely having a dilated eye examination by a qualified eye care professional is the best approach to having healthy vision. Our physicians at Eye Specialists of Mid Florida are able to help you with any eye problems that you may have concerns with.