By Mariah Chitouras on Mar 29, 2016 @ 09:57 AM
Establishing an eye-care routine can seem like a challenge. Unlike your teeth, which can be maintained with the famous regimen of brushing and flossing, your eye-care routine can be, well, hard to see.
So here are five things to include in your daily routine to ensure that you are maintaining good eye health.
Diet. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), a healthy diet is essential to your eye health. Eating vegetables high in antioxidants, especially dark, leafy greens like kale or spinach, is excellent for your eyes. These dark, leafy greens are high in two specific antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect your eyes from light. Eating fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and tuna, is also excellent for your eyes. The Omega-3 fatty acids in these fish can help prevent dry eyes, cataracts, and even macular degeneration. Further, eating a healthy diet will help keep you from developing diseases like diabetes, which can lead to eye complications.
Don’t smoke. We know smoking is bad for your lungs, but it's bad for your eyes, too. According to the NEI, smokers have increased risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and optic nerve damage. It's just not worth the risk.
Wear Sunglasses. Sunglasses are more than just a summer style choice. They help protect your eyes from the Sun’s harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. While you can slather on the sunscreen to protect your skin, your eyes need those sunglasses. There are tons of options for sunglasses out there – and if you wear glasses, you can even have prescription sunglasses made and most vision retailers. But no matter where you buy your sunglasses, or what style you choose, make sure your shades are rated to protect from both UV-A and UV-B rays.
On-the-job safety glasses and blue-light blocking glasses. If you work in construction, manufacturing, or other fields where your eyes may be exposed to hazardous materials, you should make sure to invest in a strong pair of safety glasses. These glasses should be made of poly-carbonate, which doesn’t shatter like glass, and should fully cover your eyes, including the sides of your eyes, to best protect you. If you work in an office, your eyes can still be at risk from prolonged contact with your computer screen. A pair of blue-light blocking glasses can protect your eyes from long days at your computer – and even help prevent tension headaches.
Take care of your contacts. If you wear contact lenses, make sure they are clean. Wearing dirty contacts can lead to infections, and even damage your vision long term. The best defense against contacts-related infections is to ensure you wash your lenses well, change them as directed by your optometrist, and always make sure to wash your hands before handling your contacts.
There are no guarantees, but you can help keep your eyes healthier for years to come with these five habits!