2016 is a year of change. Some say we may have tourists in space, self-driving cars and virtual reality as mainstream entertainment — all by the end of the year. With all of these advances in technology, you still probably won’t have X-ray vision by the year’s end, but you can still have superhero eyesight. We have a few tips to keep in mind throughout the year that will improve your eye health and keep you seeing safely in 2016:
- See your eye doctor regularly. It sounds like an obvious suggestion, but consulting with a qualified eye expert is the best thing you can do for your eye health. Visiting an eye doctor on a regular basis can prevent serious eye problems like macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Your optometrist will give you individual feedback on your eyes’ health and offer suggestions for maintaining healthy eyes based on your lifestyle.
- Replace your contact lens case frequently. Doctors recommend replacing your case every two to three months. The reason is we often store our contact cases in places like our pockets, purses or bathrooms, which are all areas where bacteria like to live. After you put in your contacts, be sure to empty the case of all solution and rinse and dry the case before you store your lenses again.
- Rest your eyes from the computer screen. Most of us work with computers, and while these machines greatly enhance our daily tasks, those bright screens can exhaust our eyes. Eye experts suggest following the 20-20-20 rule. That means, for every 20 minutes of looking at your computer screen, look 20 feet away or more for at least 20 seconds. This helps reduce the strain of looking at a computer monitor for long periods of time.
- Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. If you are planning on an outdoor activity where you’ll need sunscreen, you should think about protecting your eyes as well. Wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection, as UV light can contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Eat healthy and exercise regularly. Remember that resolution you made two months ago to exercise more? Well, if you stay with it, frequent exercise may actually improve your eye health. A healthy diet is also an important factor in preventing eye disease. Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale and Brussels sprouts, and dark berries, like blueberries and blackberries, are rich in lutein, which protects against macular degeneration. Walnuts and fresh cold-water fish are also helpful because they can reduce inflammation in eye blood vessels.
VSP wants you to remember that you only get one set of eyes, so take care of them! Caring for your vision can lead to a better quality of life. If you aren’t sure whether or not your vision can be improved or if you have eye health issues that a doctor can help you with, set up an eye exam. If you don’t have vision insurance, learn more about VSP vision insurance today and get your eye exam within the week.