How to Preserve Eye Health, Why Regular Exams are Still Important
When I was in high school, my English teacher said if I didn’t go see an eye doctor she’d flunk me. She’d noticed me always sitting in the front row, squinting at the white board, and got fed up with it. After her observation, I wore glasses or contacts for years, and hated it. And once I had Lasik, I stopped visiting the Optometrist all together. But now, as I enter (gulp) middle age, I’m realizing that I still need to monitor the health of my eye and take preventative measures, even if I no longer need glasses to see the world around me (for now).
An artist friend of mine was recently diagnosed with the very early stages of Macular Degeneration, an eye disease that can eventually lead to permanent vision loss. On the same day, at a different appointment, her husband was diagnosed with Glaucoma. She jokes that his sight is going from the outside in and hers is going from the center out. Always two halves of a whole, those two. But instead of feeling hopeless and scared, they’re both working with their doctors to do everything they can to prevent eventual blindness.
I never really put much thought into eye health. I remember my grandmother telling me to eat my carrots. But that’s about it. So what sort of things can we do to take care of our eye health?
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly
- Manage health issues related to blood vessels
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Eat fish, walnuts, and other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids
- Wear eye protection
- Wear sun protection
No one enjoys going to the eye doctor. That obnoxious puff of air in your eye, the weird little house with all the colored dots, it’s not the best way to spend your day. But monitoring eyesight and eye health is part of our overall health. Many of us are taking our eyesight for granted. If you’ve gone some time since your last eye exam, perhaps take this as a reminder to schedule one this year.
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