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Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Eye Health

Monday, April 12 2021 9:57 PM
Colorful veggies

Practice these simple tips to keep your eyes and vision healthy

From books and websites to the magazines we see in the checkout line at the grocery store, there are plenty of resources devoted to the health of our minds and bodies. 

But how often do you think about your eye health?

Healthy eyes are an important part of maintaining overall wellness. And just like your mind or body, there are things you can do to help your eyes (in addition to scheduling regular eye exams).

Here are three easy habits you can adopt to ensure eye and vision health for years to come...

1. Shield your eyes

We wear sunscreen to protect our skin from sun damage, but ultraviolet rays are just as bad for our eyes. In fact, prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to an increased risk of eye diseases like cancer and cataracts.

It’s important to wear sunglasses that provide UVA and UVB-blocking protection. Aside from wanting to look cool in your new shades, you’ll also want a pair that provides UV400 or 100 percent UV protection.

And if you wear prescription glasses, you should definitely invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses to get full UV protection and the ability to see. And don’t leave them at home on cloudy days — clouds and haze don’t stop UV rays from damaging your eyes.

A good wide-brimmed hat can also help give your eyes some extra shade from the sunlight on those bright summer days! 

And, spoiler: If you wear contact lenses or you’ve had LASIK surgery to correct your vision, you’ll still need a pair of regular sunglasses that offer full UV protection. We can give you laser vision, but we can’t make you invincible. :) 

2. Rest your eyes

From staring at our computers and phones for work to streaming content on our TVs and tablets, digital devices are an almost unavoidable part of our lives. Most of us spend too long looking at screens each day.

For this reason, alone, it’s important to practice the 20-20-20 rule.

For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break by looking at something 20 feet or more away. This allows your eyes to relax and refocus to avoid digital eye strain.

Can’t remember to take a 20-20-20 break? Set an alarm! If your phone won’t do, buy a kitchen timer or get one of these free apps to do it for you.

3. Feed your eyes

Some of the same foods that are good for the rest of your body—especially fresh fruits and vegetables—also have nutrients that are good for your eyes too.

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins C (an antioxidant recommended by the American Optometric Association) and E, lutein, and zinc may help to reduce the risk of vision impairments like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

These include:

  • Leafy greens (kale, spinach, and collards)
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, and grapefruit)
  • Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, trout, and sardines)
  • Nuts and seeds (flax, chia, and cashews)
  • Eggs and legumes

Additionally, a diet high in these foods helps to promote a healthy weight and avoid obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in American adults.

Take care of your eyes — and your vision

Protecting your eyes from sunlight, resting your eyes from digital devices, and eating foods high in the right nutrients are all easy ways you can keep your eyes healthy and functioning properly every day.

And while all of these can help reduce the risk of damage and degeneration to your eyes, they won’t significantly improve your existing visual acuity or cure poor eyesight — especially if you suffer from vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

For that, consider making LASIK part of your eye health plan.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and we’ll be happy to help you determine if LASIK is the right choice for your eyes.

Shalee Lehning
"Playing sports is hard enough without worrying about your contacts. The inconvenience of losing contacts during practice and competition was frustrating for me. The decision to have the surgery was the best decision I have made!"
Shalee Lehning, K-State Women's Assistant Coach / Former WNBA and K-State Player - Manhattan, KS

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