Guidelines from your eye care specialist in Washington, D.C.
There are many routine daily actions you can take to preserve your eye health and keep your vision crisp and clear. By following a few simple practices outlined below, you can reduce your risk of developing many common ocular diseases and vision problems.
Book regular eye exams
First and foremost, visit your local eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam near you. This is the most significant way to take care of your eyes. It is typical to have a problem and not know about it, because many eye diseases don’t present with symptoms during the early stages. Once your eye care provider detects the signs of an ocular condition, you can receive treatment – and early treatment goes far towards preventing vision loss.
Be aware of your risk factors for eye diseases
Normal aging raises your risk of certain eye diseases. Additionally, your risk is higher if you:
- Are obese or overweight
- Have a family history of ocular disease
- Are African American, Native American, or Hispanic
- Have diabetes or high blood pressure
Some ocular conditions run in families, so it’s important to speak with other family members to find out about any eye problems. Then, visit a center for eye care near you to discuss your personal risk factors. The optometry team can inform you about various ways to decrease your chances of developing specific eye diseases & conditions.
Make healthy lifestyle choices
Eyes are a part of your whole body, and protecting your overall well-being can help safeguard your vision too. Healthy habits are essential, such as eating nutritiously and being physically active. These behaviors can reduce your risk for diseases that can lead to vision problems, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Our eye doctor in , shares the following guidelines for taking care of your whole body:
- Be active: regular exercise and cardiovascular physical activity are effective ways to keep yourself healthy
- Eat well: include plenty of dark, leafy greens in your daily diet, such as spinach, arugula, collard greens, and kale. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, halibut, and tuna are also recommended for healthy eyes.
- No smoking: smoking increases your chances of developing eye disease, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and it can also damage the optic nerve.
Use eye protection
Everyone knows about the need to slather on sunscreen before spending time outdoors, but many people neglect to give their eyes the same attention.
- Wear sunglasses and sunwear: choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation, and wear whenever you’re outdoors, even on cloudy days. Hats with a visor are also helpful at blocking the sun’s rays from reaching your eyes.
- Let your eyes rest: gazing at a computer screen for hours on end can lead to eye fatigue. Give your eyes a break by looking at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
- Put on safety glasses: certain activities, such as playing sports, doing home repairs, and working in construction all expose your eyes to potential hazards. Protect your eyes from injury by wearing safety glasses and goggles.
- Practice eye hygiene: always wash your hands before you insert or remove your contact lenses, and follow proper cleaning and storage guidelines for your contacts, as recommended by your eye doctor. Even if you don’t wear contacts, avoid rubbing your eyes – because fingers are exposed to a lot of dirt and bacteria, which can be transferred easily to your eyes. Also, don’t forget to remove eye makeup nightly to avoid a build-up of bacteria in your ocular area.
- Don’t dry out your eyes: make sure to stay adequately hydrated by drinking enough water, and direct air vents in your car and home towards your torso, instead of blowing directly at your eyes.
When in doubt – book an eye exam near you
If you notice any new symptoms and don’t know what they are, such as the sudden appearance of many floaters and/or light flashes in your peripheral vision, call your eye doctor immediately. These could be signs of a retinal tear or detachment, which requires urgent eye care to prevent lasting vision damage. Or if you experience blurry vision, pain, or any oozing discharge, you may have an eye infection that needs medical treatment. Any time you aren’t sure about a symptom, it’s best to practice caution and contact a center for eye care near you.
At Washington Eye Doctors, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 202-335-5032 or book an appointment online to see one of our Washington, D.C. eye doctors.
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