Your vision is so very important, so taking care of your eyes as you get older should definitely be part of your wellness routine. But what steps can you take to keep your eyes healthy?
It Starts with Seeing an Eye Doctor on a Regular Basis
Whether or not you’re experiencing symptoms or having issues with your vision, it’s a great idea to see an eye doctor on a regular basis, such as annually. He or she will have special tools and instruments that can look at the interior structures of your eyes, such as your retinas, to be sure everything is healthy. These exams can also spot eye problems in their earliest stages so you can treat them right away.
Take Steps Daily to Protect Your Peepers
In addition to being examined by a pro, there are steps you can take every day to maintain the health of your eyes, such as:
- Eat right and take supplements – Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats are considered beneficial to the eyes. Consider decreasing your intake of unhealthy foods, such as those that are high in saturated fat, and reduce your consumption of alcohol as well. You can also talk to your eye doctor about taking a high-quality supplement that contains nutrients known for supporting the eyes (such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect the eyes from blue light).
- Get plenty of exercise – Leading an active lifestyle that includes exercise isn’t only important for your overall health, it’s also great for your eye health. That’s because working out can help improve circulation that delivers oxygen to the eyes and helps eliminate toxins.
- Wear sunglasses and other protective eyewear – You don’t have to stare directly at the sun to damage your eyes. The sun’s UV rays are capable of doing harm. In fact, your risk of conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts might increase if you don’t protect your peepers with high-quality sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. And don’t forget to wear safety glasses when you’re playing sports or working in an environment where you’ll be exposed to materials that can get into your eyes.
- Protect your eyes from blue light – Devices like your smartphone and computer give off blue light that can be harmful to the eyes, and staring at screens for too long can cause eyestrain. Consider taking frequent breaks to look at something in the distance for a bit (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds). You can also try minimizing glare, wearing glasses that filter blue light, and blinking frequently. Plus, it’s wise to keep the top of your computer screen slightly below eye level, and at least 20-24” away from your face.
- Ditch the cigarettes – Here’s yet another solid reason to finally quit smoking: this unhealthy habit can raise the risk of eye problems like optic nerve damage, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Yikes!
- Get enough rest – A lack of good quality sleep can take its toll on your eyes. Who knew?! If you’ve developed symptoms like dry eye or eyestrain, it might be because they aren’t getting the rest they need. By simply getting more hours of sleep, you might notice that your eyes feel better during the day.
- Take care of your eyes if you wear contacts – If you wear contacts, talk to your eye doctor about the best ways to take care of them so you can avoid complications. For example, taking them out before going to sleep is wise, as is making sure you store them in a clean case.
Worried About the Cost of Eye Care? Spirit Can Help!
In addition to dental insurance, you can also get vision insurance from Spirit. That way, you can rest assured that you’ll be covered when you need to see the eye doctor for an exam or a new prescription for glasses and contacts. With the right plan, you won’t have to worry about missing out on the care you need to keep your eyes healthy, no matter your age.