Protect Your Vision All Year Round
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- Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam every year. It may help you see better and could identify common eye diseases that have no warning signs.
- Know your family's eye health history. Many eye diseases are hereditary so you may be at a higher-than-average risk of being affected.
- Eat right to protect your sight. Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase inflammation in your body and increase your risk of developing other diseases.
- Exercise daily or as often as you can, especially aerobic exercises, to improve your immune system and blood pressure and your eye and brain health.
- Maintain normal blood pressure of 120/80. Having cardiovascular disease has been linked to an increased risk for macular degeneration.
- Wear protective eyewear when sports or tasks at home or at work may lead to damage.
- Quit smoking or never start. Toxins found in cigarette smoke have been linked to an increased risk for developing a number of diseases, including macular degeneration.
- Wear high quality sunglasses that have "99- to 100-percent UVA and UVB protection" and a wide-brimmed hat as often as possible when you are outdoors to lower your risk for cancer, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases. If you aren't sure about your shades, ask your optometrist or optician to check their protection level.
- Give your eyes a rest. Reduce eyestrain by looking away from your monitor or other near work every 20 minutes, to a distance of 20 feet in front of you, for 20 seconds.
- Limit caffeine. Some reports indicate it may have a small effect on blood pressure.
- Perform Amsler grid tests at home.
- Take all medications, as prescribed. Have one pharmacy or doctor confirm that the drugs have no risks for interactions or interference from non-prescription drugs or herbal supplements.
- Stay informed about recent advances in research on preventive activities and treatments for macular degeneration and glaucoma, like the services and news alerts provided to you by the BrightFocus Foundation.
Last Review: 04/25/13