Vision loss is among the top 10 disabilities among Americans, according to the CDC. And, approximately 17 percent of Americans age 65 and older experience severe vision loss. Most Americans would rather lose their mobility than their eyesight. Fortunately, there are a number of easy things you can do to help ensure that you’ll be able to see well for as long as possible.
What you can do to protect your vision
1. Protect your eyes against UV rays. Make it a habit to always wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Don’t just settle for glasses that look stylish. You want ones that offer UV protection.
2. Get enough vitamin A. There’s a lot of merit in your mother’s advice to eat your carrots. Those orange vegetables are a great source of vitamin A, which helps to promote good vision. Other sources of vitamin A include sweet potatoes, squash, and cantaloupe.
3. Keep your screens at a safe (non-glaring) distance. Holding your screen (tablet or cell phone) too close to your face can lead eventually to vision loss. Eye doctors recommend holding your screens no closer than 17 inches from your eyes. (If you can’t see the print at that distance, use a bigger font.)
4. Use safety goggles for more than factory work. While most people understand that you need to protect your eyes when using power equipment (and OSHA laws require it at work), most of us do potentially hazardous work at home without protective eye gear. Consider using goggles or safety glasses when doing yard work as well as sanding, drilling, painting, and sawing. It’s also a good idea to use protective eye gear when working with caustic chemicals, such as when you clean the oven or strip paint.
5. See an eye doctor annually. Even if you have perfect vision, it’s a good idea to have a comprehensive eye exam annually to help protect your vision. Some eye disorders, such as glaucoma, are not readily apparent without an exam in their early stages.
Keeping your vision sharp for as long as possible doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Start by protecting your eyes against the sun when you go outside, wearing safety goggles when you do any hazardous work (even at home) and making sure to add vision protecting vitamins and minerals to your diet.
To learn more about what you can do to keep your vision sharp longer, visit our office or contact us for an appointment.