According to a recent poll conducted by the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Americans fear blindness or vision loss more than any other conditions. When asked about the top four worst things that can happen to them, respondents chose blindness, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and HIV/AIDS.
The same source indicates that despite this fear, “the federal government spends on average $2.10 per person” annually on researches that aim to improve the prevention and treatment of vision disorders. This is significantly less than what is being spent on researches regarding different kinds of cancer.
That being said, it only goes to follow that everyone should do their part in safeguarding their vision. This includes eating the right kinds of food, avoiding hazardous conditions that may compromise their eyes, and give their eyes enough time to recuperate.
Here are five things you can do to ensure that you have a healthy eyesight:
- Get a comprehensive eye exam – Majority of vision problems do not have symptoms in their early stages. Due to this, many people would only find out about their vision problems by the time it’s too late for any corrective measures. There are different guidelines as to how frequently you should get an eye exam, but try to get one at least once every two years if you do not have a history of vision problems. If you do have a history of vision problems, then consult your physician as to how often you should have your eyes checked up.
- Get a thorough family history – Like many conditions and diseases, some vision problems are hereditary. Talk to your family and determine if there is a preexisting condition within the family that can cause blindness or severe vision loss. This way, you would know if you should pay more attention to your eyesight in the near future.
- Protect your eyes – You can do this by wearing sunglasses that block UVA and UVB radiation, which can both significantly damage your eyes. Likewise, you should wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes while you are working or playing sports. The type of eye protection you should wear would depend on your workplace. For example, determine if you need eye protection that has side shields or if you only need to wear glasses to see better.
- Take care of your eyewear – If you’re already wearing contact lenses or using prescription eyeglasses, take proper care of your eyewear by following the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. Replace your contact lenses before it expires and ensure that your prescription eyeglasses are updated.
- Live a healthy lifestyle – Eat food rich in nutrients that are good for your eyesight, such as dark leafy vegetables, fishes, and eggs. You should also avoid smoking because it can lead to vision loss, as well as increases your risk of cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
These are just some of the things you can do to have a healthy eyesight. As in most cases, it would be for the best if you can find out about your vision loss at an early age. This way, you may still be able to see if there are corrective methods you can employ to restore your vision.