Hindsight is 20/20 – let’s look at vision loss prevention, so your vision can be 20/20 as well. You don’t have to live your life with regrets or specs.
What Does Vision Deterioration “Look” Like?
Early detection plays a massive part in the damage/illness prevention of our eyes. Learning what the early signs look like could mean the difference between an easy-fix or lifetime hurdle.
The most common red flags urging you to seek consultation are:
- Double vision
- Blurred/discolored vision
- More ‘floaters’ in view than usual
- Light sensitivity
- Stringy mucus
- Watery/burning eyes
- Flashes of light
- Seeing halos
- Partial sudden loss of vision
- Bumping into things (loss of side vision)
If you’re experiencing any of these, you should book with your optometrist – it’s better to be safe than notice a problem later on down the road.
Things You Can Do To Encourage Healthy Long-Term Eyesight
Just like any other part of your body, eyes need care. It’s estimated that over 50% of blindness cases (over 1 million/year) could have been prevented.
That coveted 20/20 vision isn’t so out of reach if you follow a few key guidelines.
Get Checked Often
Catching things early means your optometrist can usually offer more solutions. It’s also great practice to make routine check-ups at your nearby optometrist clinic, even if nothing is amiss.
Pop in once every few years if you’re under 40, every couple years from 40-65, and every year from 65 and up, unless something concerning. This ensures that anything serious can be caught before it becomes severe.
Optometry is advanced enough that it can be used to detect many other things. Eyes can hint at other illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, tumors, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS, liver damage, or heart disease!
Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in North America. It’s a symptom of unmanaged diabetes that causes damage to the retina and therefore blurry, spotted, or dark/lost vision.
Managing blood sugar/pressure and cholesterol is extremely important to eye health, diabetic or not.
Learning your family history can help you understand if you’re at a higher risk.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Sunglasses are to your eyes, what sunblock is to your precious skin. Don’t be afraid to drop an extra buck on shades that clearly state they block all UV-A and UV-B rays. Darker isn’t necessarily better, just look for that label.
Avoiding UV decreases your risk of cataracts, pinguecula, sunburn, macular degeneration, and eyelid cancer.
Protect your eyes from debris or harmful substances too. The eyeball and surrounding tissues are very sensitive and must be guarded against injury in order to prevent long-term damage. They’re nowhere near as forgiving as other body parts.
Diet (nutrients & vitamins) plays a factor in healthy and resilient eyes and eyesight.
What they say is true – carrots are good for your eyes…but so are many other things. Carrots, grapefruits, mangoes, and sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A; something your eyes love. Dark leafy greens also contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and antioxidants – all beneficial.
Studies show that Omega 3 (DHA) fatty acids help preserve vision and eye health. They reduce the risk of macular degeneration and keep the eyeball moisturized. Eating cold-water fish will work wonders!
Eating foods that are high in zinc, vitamin E, and lutein are also helpful.
Sleep, Rest, And Exercise
Getting a good night’s sleep, resting the eyes away from screens, and moving the eyeball around are all ways to keep the muscles healthy and the retina/cornea at peace.
Smoking is rough on the whole body, but it’s linked with higher cases of all major eye diseases and smoke is known to damage the outer eye. Best to ‘look the other way’ when it comes to smoking.
If you’re looking to start your proactive journey, start by booking an appointment with Look Optometry. We’ve got our eye on you and your future!