The human sense of sight is one of the most valuable ways of interacting with and learning about the world. From watching a beautiful sunset to gazing into the eyes of a loved one, vision provides people with treasured moments to be turned into cherished memories. When vision is clear and unimpeded, most people don’t give their eye health a second thought. It’s of the utmost importance to take the proper steps to protect vision, because once it’s gone, recovering visual acuity can be next to impossible.
Use Lubricating Eye Drops
Much like any finely tuned and sensitive instrument, the eyes need to have proper lubrication in order to function well. Tear production is actually quite a complex process, and tears are a delicately balanced formula of water, oil and mucus that protects and coats the eye. Many factors can cause dry eyes, such as age, past surgeries, environmental factors, certain medical conditions and dietary deficiencies. Discomfort from dry eyes is an important issue to discuss with an eye doctor in order to learn about suitable lubricating drops. Dry eyes can cause more serious complications other than discomfort, such as:
- More frequent eye infections
- Vision problems
- Eye inflammation
Get Regular Eye Exams
Most people go see their family physician every year for an exam to ensure that they’re in good health, so why not treat the eyes with the same care and respect? An annual exam can help to monitor any vision loss and address it accordingly with corrective lenses, and it can also spot early warning signs of serious vision problems. Disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration can all be treated much more effectively in the early stages than if spotted when severe damage has already been done. Eye exams can also potentially identify early warning signs of other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure or multiple sclerosis.
Much like people protect their skin with a suitable sunscreen when spending time outdoors, they should also be shielding their precious eyes from the sun with appropriate sunglasses. Not only do lenses with at least 100% UV protection safeguard the delicate skin around the eyes from fine lines and wrinkles, they also guard against sun-induced degenerative diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Even if it’s an overcast or cloudy day it’s still important to wear those shades, because clouds don’t protect from UV rays.
Wear Protective Eye-Gear
Many people neglect to take the basic precaution of wearing safety eye-gear such as goggles or shatter-proof lenses in hazardous situations. People who work in construction or manufacturing are often required by law to don such protective eye-wear, but it is just as important while at home or at play. Whenever using tools where debris could fly out of control, such as a hammer, drill or lawnmower, safety-rated goggles to protect the eyes from trauma should be worn. During sports play, it is just as important to make sure the eyes are protected with shatter-proof goggles or a face mask.
Eat for Your Eyes
Adequate nutrition is the building block of good health, but it is also important to consider consuming foods that are specifically helpful for maintaining healthy eyes. Foods that are rich in Vitamin A, such as leafy greens, cantaloupe and carrots support retinal health. Food high in fatty acids, such as fish, flax seeds and avocados help to maintain proper lubrication and visual acuity.
Don’t forget, the experienced and professional eye care team at Monterey Bay Eye Center is your leading resource for eye treatment and examinations! Feel free to call today with any questions, or to schedule an appointment.