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Pointers for Protecting Your Vision Millions of people in America are dealing with extreme vision loss today. Not all eye diseases can be avoided, but here’s some good news: there are simple things we can do to reduce the possibility of vision loss. Why Wearing UV Sunglasses Is Important UV-blocking sunglasses prevents skin cancer around the eye area and delay the onset of cataracts, whose formation is fast-tracked by direct sun exposure. However, not just any sunglasses will do. Of course, those that offer 100% UV protection are the best for this purpose. No Smoking Please!
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There is indisputable evidence of the adverse health effects of smoking, including those that affect the eyes. In particular, this practice has been known to hasten the development of cataracts and the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
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Proper Nutrition Any person’s retinal functions can suffer when he is vitamin-deficient. Based on research, AMD can be prevented by diets rich in vitamins C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein and zinc. Getting a Baseline Eye Exam If you’re an adult with no eye disease risk factors, you should take a baseline eye exam when you turn 40, which is when the earliest signs of eye disease and vision impairment set in. Your opthalmologist will know if you need follow-up exams or treatment. Eye Protection When doing most projects at home, you should do with typical ANSI-approved protection eyewear. For sports eye protection, you should wear eyewear approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or by your sport’s governing body. Your Family History Glaucoma, cataract, AMD and many other eye diseases tend to run in the family, so take the time to know your family history so you know your risks and can take preventive steps early on when necessary. Working with an Eye Care Professional Make sure that you’re seeing the right eye care specialist for your particular condition. There are opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists, are your full-scale eye experts who can provide eye care at all levels, from eye surgery to eyeglass prescriptions. Proper Use of Contact Lenses Know that you can develop corneal ulcers and even vision loss if you abuse contact lenses – for example, by using expired cleaning solutions, sleeping with contacts that are not made for overnight use, etc. Dealing with Eye Fatigue You can manage computer-related eye strain using the 20-20-20 rule – divert your eyes from the monitor every 20 minutes and stare at an object about 20 feet away for around 20 seconds. Should your eye fatigue remain, you have to see an eye professional. Whether you have dry eye, presbyopia or whatever condition, it should be diagnosed properly. Eye care is something we should all be conscious about – not that we even have to mention that. But sometimes, in our busy lives, we tend to forget our most basic needs, such as healthy eyes and great vision.