Most people would agree that their sight is the one sense they wouldn’t want to do without, but often people do not take the steps necessary to take proper care of their eyes, prevent eye injuries, or treat eye conditions that threaten their vision.
Education, coupled with your commitment to injury prevention, eye care and health, can help you protect one of your most important senses. Eye health education will help you learn more about common threats to your vision, including things like the danger of sun exposure, sports injuries and digital eye strain and the steps you can take to protect your sight from these daily threats.
Caring for your eyes is an important part of protecting your overall health. Your eyes, when examined by an eye care provider through a comprehensive eye exam, can provide important clues and early warning signs for diseases including high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and even life-threatening brain tumors.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, other actions you can take to keep your vision healthy include:
- End tobacco use. There are strong links between smoking and eye disease, including the fact that smokers have twice the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration as compared to non-smokers.
- Improve your diet. Research has found that people who don’t eat the recommended daily allowance of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains increase their risk for developing cataracts. At the same time, dark, leafy greens and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and some nuts, can help prevent vision problems, according to the American Optometric Association.
- Exercise. An active lifestyle that includes regular exercise can help you lose weight and reduce inflammation throughout the body, including in the eyes. Exercise can also prevent obesity, which has strong links to several eye diseases.
Teenagers may think that they are invincible, but what they may not think about is that the choices they make now can affect their health later in life.
Parents and other adult role models can help teenagers understand the importance of protecting their health – specifically their eye health – and assist them in developing and continuing healthy habits that they will use throughout their adult lives.
Sun exposure, sports and workplace eye injuries and digital eye strain are some of the leading threats to teens’ healthy vision. Through education, we can help teens reduce those threats to one of their most important senses and protect their eyes and healthy vision.
It is also important to help teens understand how healthy lifestyle choices can impact their vision. According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, avoiding tobacco, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet all can have lifelong, positive impacts on vision health.
It is never too early or too late to start protecting children’s vision and establishing healthy eye care habits that last a lifetime. The right time to begin caring for children’s eyes is right now.
Threats to children’s eye health are everywhere. By knowing and looking for the warning signs that could indicate a vision problem, scheduling regular eye exams with an eye care provider, and providing protection against ultraviolet rays and sports-related hazards, you can help children protect their eyes and enjoy healthy vision as they grow and mature.