Why Young Adults Should Prioritize Eye Health

The National Eye Institute is encouraging adults ages 25-35 to make their vision and eye health a priority. Why is it important for you to focus on caring for your eyes while you’re still young? Vision and eye health are intertwined with your overall physical health, and taking good care of both your health and your eyes when you’re young can decrease your risk of vision loss in the future. So how do you go about taking care of your eyes, to keep them as healthy as possible?

  • Eat healthy foods. Oily fish like tuna, salmon, trout, and sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against macular degeneration and help combat dry eye. The vitamin E found in nuts and legumes protects against age-related eye damage, as does the vitamin C found in citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and cantaloupe. Leafy greens have nutrients that reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, and the beta carotene and vitamin A in carrots and sweet potatoes help slow macular degeneration and decrease the risk of eye infections. Meat and eggs can improve long-term eye health because they contain zinc, and green tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help keep eyes healthy. And as with every other system in your body, your eyes benefit when you stay well-hydrated.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Staying in shape and keeping your weight under control can protect against conditions that can lead to vision loss and blindness, like high blood pressure and diabetes. What’s more, when you control your weight not just through diet but also with regular exercise, you’re also lowering the pressure on your optic nerve and reducing your risk of glaucoma.
  • Always wear sunglasses. Even on cloudy days, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage your eyes. Any time you’re outside, wear sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation and consider a wide-brimmed hat for further sun protection. When you’re active, choose protective eyewear that fits your activity, in order to keep your eyes safe and healthy.
  • Don’t smoke. If are already a smoker, quit! Smoking can increase your risk of eye diseases, including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and damage to the optic nerve. When you quit smoking, however, you automatically reduce your risk of these vision-threatening conditions.
  • Take a break from screen time. You probably know already staring at a screen can make your eyes feel tired, but research indicates that the blue light from these screens can actually damage your retina. Consider a blue light filter or computer glasses if you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, and always use the 20-20-20 rule during screen time. Every 20 minutes, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away.
  • See your eye doctor regularly. For most adults between the ages of 18 and 60, eye exams are recommended every one to two years. If you have certain risk factors, like a family history of eye disease or a visually demanding occupation, your eye doctor may want to see you more often.

If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry or Windham, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating thirty-five years of eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

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