6 Ways to Protect Your Eye Health

Your eyes help you experience the world around you. There are some simple steps you can take now to protect your eyes and make sure they are their healthiest.

1. Don’t smoke.

Smoking has been proven to raise the risk of developing a wide range of eye diseases. These include age-related macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and cataracts. If you currently smoke and you’re ready to quit, find resources to help.

2. Eat eye-friendly foods.

Carrots aren’t the only food for eye health. Eat dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens. Also enjoy nuts, berries and cold-water fish like salmon, tuna and halibut to maintain good eye health.

3. Exercise daily and watch your weight.

Obesity (being overweight), as well as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels raise your risk for diabetes. It can cause diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and age-related cataracts. Talk with your doctor if you’re not sure about the best way to lose weight, or sign up for a ProMedica weight management class.

4. Know your family’s eye health history.

Speak with your family members to find out what kind of vision issues they may have — some might not be obvious.

5. Think twice before you tan.

Tanning beds expose you to a high level of UV light. If you choose to use a tanning facility, make sure you wear protective eyewear. It’s best to buy your own so they’ll fit your eyes snugly. If you do use a facility’s goggles, make sure they’re sterilized so you don’t risk getting an infection from another customer.

6. Don’t skip your annual eye exam.

Eye exams are important for eye health and overall health. Many medical conditions and diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and brain tumors may show symptoms in the eyes and be detected during a dilated eye exam.

View this infographic to learn more about annual eye exams.

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