May marks Healthy Vision Month. Approximately 37 million adults in America have age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma, all of which can cause visual impairment or blindness, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

This is the perfect month to learn how to take care of your vision! Here are a few precautionary steps to follow:

20-20-20 Rule

With today’s technology, you more than likely spend multiple hours a day looking at a computer screen or other technical devices. It’s very important to follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain. Every 20 minutes focus on something that is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. A simple task built into your everyday routine can make a huge difference!

Healthy Lifestyle

Your diet and exercise practices are key to having healthy vision. Carrots, dark leafy greens like spinach or kale and fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, and halibut are great for your eyes! Consuming these foods can help protect your vision. Practicing regular exercise is also great for your eyes. Anything that gets your heart beating faster keeps your eyes healthy and can essentially protect you from eye disease. Certain vitamins are also essential when it comes to maintaining healthy vision. Here are 9 key vitamins that help maintain eye health:

  1. Vitamin A: This vitamin plays a major role by maintaining a clear cornea, which is the outside covering of your eye.
  2. Vitamin E: Some eye conditions are associated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your eye cells against damaging free radicals.
  3. Vitamin C: Taking Vitamin C allows your body to form collagen, which is a protein that provides structure to your eyes.
  4. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12: The combination of these B vitamins lowers your homocysteine levels and may help reduce your risk of developing Macular Degeneration.
  5. Riboflavin: This is another antioxidant B vitamin. Providing your body with Riboflavin may protect against damaging free radicals and developing cataracts in your eyes.
  6. Niacin: Studies show that Niacin can prevent the development of glaucoma, but this vitamin should be used with caution.
  7. Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These vitamins are part of the carotenoid family which is a group of beneficial compounds synthesized by plants. They may help prevent Macular Degeneration and cataracts.
  8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Having anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3 Fatty Acids may help prevent diabetic retinopathy when worked into your diet. It can also help those suffering from dry eye.
  9. Thiamine: Diets that are high in Thiamine have been associated with a reduced risk of developing cataracts.

Yes, we know you’re busy… but the frequency of eye examinations is vital as we age and we want you to understand the importance of them. Your eyes should be checked regularly to ensure that you are able to see as well as possible, and for some eye diseases that have minimal or do not have symptoms at all, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. During your regular eye exam, we look for initial signs of these diseases.

Early detection for eye disease and treatment is essential to stopping or slowing down the progression of diseases.  By following these simple tips, you can prevent eye diseases and eye injuries. Call us at (941) 756-2020 to make an appointment today!