Keeping an eye on your vision health

Vision health is important

Your eyes are an important, but often overlooked, part of your overall health. To track your vision health, most eye care experts recommend that you have a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years, depending on your age, risk factors and whether you currently wear glasses or contacts.1 During the exam your doctor will look for signs of common vision problems and eye diseases, like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

These four healthy habits are good for your vision health, too:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing diabetes and other conditions that can lead to vision loss.
  2. Eating healthy foods. You’ve probably heard carrots are good for your eyes. Well, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy, too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
  3. Not smoking. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
  4. Managing chronic conditions. Many conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis, can greatly impact vision, resulting in inflammation of the optic nerve, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and even blindness. Managing these conditions with the help of your health care provider can often prevent these eye problems from occurring.

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Sources:
1. American Optometric Association, Recommended Eye Examination Frequency for Pediatric Patients and Adults, accessed 1/4/17
National Eye Institute, Keeping Your Eyes Healthy: Live a healthy lifestyle, accessed 12/20/2017 
HealthyPeople.gov , Vision, accessed 12/20/2017 

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