Many people practice regular healthy eating and exercise in order to prolong their lives. It is always important keep your muscles and organs healthy and functioning properly, but what should you be doing to keep your eyes healthy? You may already be doing some of these things, or perhaps some of these things are habits that you have yet to form. We recommend you start by follow these five simple habits that promote lifelong eye health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
In order to eat a diet that is good for your eyes, try focusing on food with eye-boosting vitamins and minerals! This can be foods with lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in broccoli, corn, squash, peppers, spinach and kale. Citrus fruits, melons, tomatoes and broccoli are great sources of vitamin C, and legumes, wheat germ, nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamin E. You can find zinc in whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as salmon. [Find out what each of these important vitamins and nutrients protects in your eyes] Adding any of these foods to your diet is a great way to work your way towards lifelong eye health!
Minimize Sun Exposure
Everybody knows how dangerous it can be to expose your skin to the ultra-violet rays of the sun without putting on sunscreen. Did you know it can also contribute to the development of cataracts?
Wearing UV protective eyewear or a wide-brimmed hat are great ways to reduce sun exposure. That counts for the winter too! Although we may not always associate winter as hot and sunny, the sun’s UV rays can actually reflect off the snow, causing eye damage.
This should be an obvious no-no. Smoking is terrible for your lungs and heart, but it also has a negative effect on your eyes as well. Smoking increases your risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Smokers are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared to non-smokers. Tweet this fact!
- Smokers are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts compared to non-smokers. Tweet this fact!
- Cats and dogs are two times more likely to get cancer if their owners are smokers compared to those with non-smoking owners. Tweet this fact!
Exercising is great for losing weight, boosting energy levels, and releasing dopamine, which makes you feel happy! In addition to these great benefits, exercise also reduces your chances of developing macular degeneration. A study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that participants who walked at least two miles a day were 70% less likely to develop macular degeneration.
Make Regular Visits to Your Eye Doctor
From hypertension to diabetes, eye doctors can discover many health conditions that you may not know you have just by looking at your eyes. Annual eye exams are important for catching these conditions early and giving them proper treatment. If you haven’t seen your eye doctor in over a year, do yourself a favor and make an appointment soon.
Roland Park Vision Services offers comprehensive eye exams to help diagnose eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Our doctors and staff have helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision. We are very passionate about educating patients and their families regarding prevention and treatment, to ensure that everyone has the best options and know-how when it comes to eye care. Make an Appointment!