Your eyesight is precious and something you obviously want to preserve for many years to come. However, eye infections and eye diseases are extremely common, especially as you get older. Here are some helpful tips for caring for your eyes and when to see an optometrist.
UV rays can wreak havoc on your eyes and their health. Too much exposure to sunlight can also increase your risk of developing macular degeneration or cataracts in the future.
As such, you should be wearing your sunglasses whenever you are outdoors, or driving between 10am – 3pm every day. Don’t just wear them on sunny days either, as UV rays can be even more harmful on days when there is a lot of cloud cover!
Finally, be sure to invest in a pair of quality sunglasses that block out at least 99% of both UV-A and UV-B rays. Not all sunglasses are created equal.
Read also: 6 signs that you might need glasses
Watch your weight
How much you weigh has an indirect effect on your eyesight. For example, people who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, and people who have been diagnosed with diabetes are more likely to suffer from eye diseases, such as glaucoma. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a mostly plant-based diet, drinking plenty of fluids, and, of course, exercising as much as you can.
Know your family history
There are a number of eye diseases and conditions that run in families. These diseases and conditions include glaucoma and cataracts. If your father was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 60, then there is a high chance that you will be too.
Don’t worry yourself about it, though; just be sure to get tested regularly as a precaution. If the disease is detected early, the effects can be halted with the help of surgery, and much of your eyesight can be preserved.
See your optometrist regularly
Do not only book an appointment with your optometrist when you notice a problem, such as uncharacteristically dry eyes or redness. It is essential to visit your optometrist at least once every year, especially after you reach the age of 40 or if you wear glasses or contact lenses.
Some eye diseases and conditions do not present symptoms until it is too late, and you have already lost a good portion of your eyesight. Regular testing will allow for early detection, quick treatment, and maximum peace of mind.
Practice good hygiene if you wear contact lenses
Eye infections are common among people who wear contact lenses. However, they can be avoided by following good hygiene practices. You should:
- Always wash your hands before inserting and removing your contacts.
- Avoid sleeping with your contacts in, even if you are only closing your eyes for an hour.
- Avoid wearing your contacts for periods longer than is recommended.
- Change your contact lenses regularly as per your optometrist’s instructions if you wear disposables.
Rest assured that by keeping all of these tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy near-perfect eyesight for a very long time.