Many people experience some degree of vision change over the course of a lifetime. While most shifts are age-related, there are are other serious problems that are completely preventable. Being proactive goes a long way toward avoiding blindness and other negative consequences. The following list outlines 10 ways to prevent vision loss.
1. Have Regular Eye Exams
The majority of eye diseases are treatable if caught in the early stages. Some conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease, present with little or no symptoms at the start. Having a thorough eye exam with pupil dilation each year is often the only way to detect these conditions.
2. Know Family Medical History
Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be passed down through families. Being aware of risk factors and having regular monitoring by an eye doctor is vital when there is a history of eye disease.
3. Always Wear Sunglasses
Sunlight produces UVB and UVA rays that present a higher risk of cataracts and AMD. Wearing sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV protection will shield eyes from these dangerous rays while also blocking glare.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
A good diet is the foundation for optimum overall health but also plays a large role in protecting the eyes from disease. Orange and leafy green vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that support eye health. Avoiding excessive sugar and fats will lower the risk of diabetes and AMD, which are the main causes of blindness.
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking is bad for the body in so many ways, and smokers are at a much greater risk of AMD than those who do not smoke. Those struggling to quit smoking can consult with a health care provider regarding support programs.
6. Use Eye Protection
It is important to always protect the eyes, and those who engage in sports or who work with dangerous chemicals and equipment, such as power tools, should always shield the eyes with goggles to prevent injury. Eye safety is crucial, as many injuries happen in a split second and result in permanent damage.
7. Control Diabetes
Those who have high blood sugar or outright diabetes must keep the conditions under control to avoid developing diabetic retinopathy. The condition occurs when the blood vessels inside of the eye’s retina undergo changes, leading to blindness. Keeping blood sugar within a normal range is the best way to prevent diabetic retinopathy.
8. Stop Heavy Drinking
Heavy drinkers run the risk of many disease processes. Large amounts of alcohol rob the body of nutrients and reduce natural defenses against conditions such as AMD and cataracts. Alcoholism presents many negative health and social factors. Getting proper help will preserve eyesight and lead to a better quality of life.
9. Engage in Regular Exercise
Daily exercise is the easiest and most affordable route to better health. Weight reduction lowers blood sugar, which prevents diabetes. Physical activity also reduces the risk for developing AMD. Most adults need about two hours of intensive activity per day to maintain a healthy weight and keep disease at bay.
10. Gain Knowledge
Preventing eye disease and vision loss is a combination of proactivity and self-education. By knowing the risks, in combination with family history, a person can preserve their vision as long as possible.
Our professionals at Monterey Bay Eye Center are leaders in providing advanced eye care including exams, laser cataract surgery, lens implants and management of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. The doctors work closely with patients to determine the best course of treatment while answering questions and providing support.
About Monterey Bay Eye Center | Monterey, CA
Monterey Bay Eye Center proudly offers everything you need to achieve optimal vision. Our primary services consist ofLaser Assisted Cataract Surgery, Premium Lens Implants, Glaucoma Evaluations and Diabetic Eye Care. Schedule and Appointment with a professional today!