Embrace These Habits to Support Your Eye Health

Embrace These Habits to Support Your Eye Health

Vision problems affect nearly 600 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to reach almost 900 million by 2050. 

At Rostami OPC, Soheila Rostami, MD, and Joseph Davidson, MD, use state-of-the-art technology and techniques to help people in Reston, Virginia, maintain their vision and their eye health — but they can’t do it alone. You need to do your part too. Here are a dozen habits that can help keep your eyes healthy.

1. Make nutrition a priority

Like every part of your body, your eyes need the right nutrients to stay healthy. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says to look for foods rich in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and zeaxanthin. 

That means lots of colorful fresh fruit and vegetables, leafy greens, seeds and nuts, lean protein, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon.

2. Stop smoking

Smoking dramatically increases your risks of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other serious eye diseases, along with increasing the risk of permanent vision loss. Plus, it doubles your risk of dry eye.

3. Wear sunglasses

Ultraviolet (UV) rays aren’t just damaging to your skin — they can harm your eyes too, increasing your risks of cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal damage, and other problems. Choose sunglasses with ample UV protection, and wear them whenever you’re out in the sun. 

4. Shorten your screen time

Staring at a lighted screen for hours on end is a common cause of eyestrain and dry eye — so common, it’s earned a name: computer vision syndrome (CVS). 

To reduce your risks, the American Optometric Association says to rest your eyes for 15 minutes after every two hours of screen use. Also, every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to focus on something at a distance.

5. Look out for dry eyes

Dry eyes are more than just uncomfortable — without ample tears, your cornea can become scratched and you can increase your risk of infections too. If you have dry eyes, artificial tears can help, but you need to schedule an eye exam to make sure you keep your symptoms under control.

6. Keep your eyes protected

If you play a sport, invest in eyewear designed to protect your eyes during your specific type of sport. Today’s protective eyewear comes in a range of styles so you never feel out of fashion.

7. Don’t share eye makeup

Eye makeup can harbor plenty of germs, and if you use someone else’s mascara, liner, or shadow, you could wind up with a really serious infection. Be sure to replace your mascara and liquid eyeliner every three months too.

8. Practice good contact lens care

Dirty contact lenses can cause serious eye infections along with corneal damage. Use contact lens solution to clean your lenses as directed, and never wear your lenses longer than you’re supposed to. Never sleep in your lenses either.

9. Don’t rub your eyes

Your eyes feel sore or itchy — it’s only natural to want to rub them. But rubbing too much or too hard can damage your eyes, and if you have germs on your hands, you can wind up with an infection too.

10. Have regular eye exams

Many eye diseases start slowly, with very subtle signs that can be hard to detect on your own. Having regular eye exams is the best way to diagnose problems early so they can be treated before vision loss occurs.

11. Be aware of vision changes

Don’t assume any change in vision is “minor” or “just part of aging.” If you notice any vision change or symptom affecting your vision or your eyes, schedule an eye exam right away.

12. Know your risk factors

Anyone can develop eye or vision problems, but they’re more common among people with diabetes, high blood pressure, older age, or a family history of eye disease. If you have risk factors for eye problems, having regular eye exams is even more important.

Don’t leave your vision to chance. If it’s been awhile since your last eye exam, don’t put it off any longer. Call 571-252-3697 or book an appointment online today.

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