Our eyes are generally pretty good at taking care of themselves. However, eye care should be part of your regular routine. Vision will decline with age, but we can prevent damage and slow the decline. Take time to perform daily care for your eyes, and continue to take in the wonders that sight can bring.
Protecting your eyes should be a consideration whenever you start your day. Right after you check the weather or start an activity, consider how to keep your eyes healthy. Sunlight really takes a toll on your eyes. Glare off shiny surfaces will reflect a great deal of the sun’s harmful rays into your eyes, where grass reflects far less. Sunglasses that block UV light should be worn whenever you are outdoors. Eyewear for summer activities should provide side protection where possible, especially when on the water where reflected UV light is abundant.
What about indoors? Don’t fixate your eyes on screens or tasks. Rest your eyes, look away and make sure you blink regularly. We used to be concerned about watching television, but computers and cell phones are of greater concern. Gone are the restful commercial breaks – technology now fixates your eyes in rapid movement on a bright screen, closer to your eyes than ever before.
Ensure your eyes are well lubricated. Air conditioners, blowing wind, and not blinking enough, are reasons why you may have dry eyes. Dry eyes become more common as you age, but some chronic conditions and medications may aggravate or be the cause. If you are taking medication or have a medical condition, additional monitoring of eye health may be required. Pharmacists can provide assistance reviewing medications that may contribute to dry eyes.
Did you know that there have been considerable innovations in eye drops? Your eyes have layered protection with a mucous layer on the eye surface, a water layer in the middle, and an outermost oil layer to keep water trapped and maintain moisture. Your tears replenish these layers of protection, and some eye drops have the same ability. Your PharmaChoice pharmacist can help you select eye drops to treat dry eyes and recommend supplements to maintain good eye health.
What about nutrition? Your eyes have the smallest blood vessels in your body, so nutrition that’s good for your cardiovascular health is also good for your eyes! Vitamin A and C are rather important for eye health, so go for those red and orange fruits and vegetables. Sticking to a low-fat, high fiber diet is just overall good for you and for your eyes – keep it simple.
Addressing eye care requires consideration of your overall health. Eye care requires regular visits to your health care team, including your doctor and optometrist. Monitor and discuss any changes in vision with a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Eye damage can progress quickly and noting eye changes may help diagnose other health conditions. Immediately seek professional advice for any eye symptoms beyond mild irritation or discomfort, or if symptoms persist.