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As many eye conditions are not apparent until it is too late, it’s important to get eyes checked regularly. To help people remember the importance of eye tests, August has been named National Eye Exam Month.

To help prevent loss of vision, adults ages 40 – 65 should have their eyes checked every 2 to 4 years – and at least every 2 years for people who are older, according to vision experts.

What causes vision loss?

Unfortunately, even common daily occurrences – such as too much time spent in front of a computer screen – can cause permanent eye damage. In fact, nearly 10 million visits to the doctor each year are from computer vision syndrome (CVS). Experts say that spending more than 2 hours per day looking at a computer screen increases chances of developing CVS by 90%.

What are some other causes of vision loss? Here are 5:

  • Age-related macular degeneration – Damage to part of the retina over time that erodes sharp, central vision.
  • Glaucoma – Significant pressure within the eye.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – Damage to blood vessels in the retina caused by diabetes.
  • Cataract – Clouding in the lens of the eye
  • Eye Injuries – Sports and work related injuries can cause blindness.

Are there any things that can help keep eyes healthy? Here are 6 foods – and the nutrients they contain – that may help:

  • Green, leafy vegetables – contain antioxidants like Vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin that can help lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Eggs – contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, plus zinc to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Orange fruits and vegetables – contain beta-carotine, a type of Vitamin A that helps protect the surface of the eye.
  • Citrus and Berries – contain Vitamin C, which can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Almonds – contain Vitamin E, which can slow macular degeneration.
  • Fatty fish – contain DHA, which can help prevent dry eye syndrome.

Are there other habits that protect the eyes? Here are 10 ways to keep eyes healthy:

  • Get eye exams as often as your age group suggests
  • Keep computer screens at an arm’s length away from your eyes
  • Try to avoid fatty junk foods like potato chips, margarine and French fries.
  • Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection
  • Keep contacts clean and be mindful of their expiration date
  • Make sure fans or vents aren’t blowing directly toward your face
  • Exercise to reduce eye pressure
  • Wear safety goggles when using power tools
  • Protect your eyes when playing high-risk sports
  • Avoid smoking

If you prefer to see all of these details in a colorful and informative visual format, review our My Medical Forum infographic entitled Opening Your Eyes to Healthy Vision.


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