5 Ways to Keep Your Eyes Safe This Summer
Prevention & Treatment While Americans value their vision, they don't do enough to protect it. Follow these easy steps to preserve your sight this summer and beyond.
According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2015 American Eye-Q survey, 47 percent of Americans worry about losing their vision over their ability to walk or hear. Even so, many people put their eye health and vision at risk by not scheduling annual, comprehensive exams.
Here are five tips to enjoy a lifetime of healthy eyes and clear vision:
1. Schedule annual comprehensive exams.
An appointment with your optometrist should be on your calendar every year. Comprehensive eye exams are one of the most important preventive ways to preserve vision, and the only way to accurately assess eye health, diagnose an eye disorder or disease and determine if you need corrective lenses.
Be sure to schedule exams for the entire family—through the Pediatric Essential Health Benefit in the Affordable Care Act, parents can take advantage of yearly comprehensive eye exams for children ages 18 and younger.
2. Give your eyes a break from technology.
When using digital devices or doing near work, follow the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away. Ongoing technology use may lead to a temporary, yet uncomfortable, condition called digital eye strain.
3. Protect against UV rays.
UV protection is needed all year long to protect your eyes from damage. Remember to wear your sunglasses when outdoors, and be sure they block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.
4. Enjoy a nutrient-rich diet.
Certain nutrients such as the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin and omega-3 essential fatty acids can be beneficial for your eyes. Think leafy green vegetables and certain varieties of fish for starters (not just carrots!).
5. Practice safe wear and care of contact lenses.
Did you know all contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and require a prescription? Visit your optometrist to see if you are a candidate for contact lenses, and always follow your doctor’s recommendations for contact lens wear and replacement to avoid serious problems.