It’s a good time to put practical vision information to use
With the beginning of summer comes longer days and increased sun exposure, so it’s vital to protect your eyes from the glaring UV rays of the sun. Cataracts—a clouding of the lens of the eye over time—are the leading cause of poor vision in the United States, and the leading cause of blindness in the world. This is part of the aging process, as proteins in the lens begin to break down. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cataract surgery is now commonplace in America, and recovery time is much faster than it used to be—most people go home the same day. But it’s better to practice a little preventive medicine, so you can postpone getting cataracts as long as possible.
As part of Cataract Awareness Month, make sure you and your family members are taking steps to keep your eyes healthy and protect your vision. There are small things you can do every day to take better care of your eyes and slow the rate of cataracts and macular degeneration, including;
- Eat healthy foods: Try to consume more vegetables and fruits. They contain natural antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are good for vision. (The Discovery Eye Foundation even has a page devoted to “Eye Cook” with delicious recipes for health.)
- Exercise regularly: You might not think of the connection, but even just walking a little every day can make a big difference for your eye health. (Just be sure to wear protective sunglasses and/or a hat—see below!)
- Avoid smoking: Even being in a smoke-filled environment can take a toll on your eye health.
- Limit alcohol: Drinking interferes with how your liver absorbs vitamins—which your body needs for healthy eyesight.
- Shield your eyes from UV rays: Wear sunglasses and a hat whenever you’re out during the day.
- Wear protective eyewear: You should don goggles or glasses when you’re working with tools or engaged in active sports. This will prevent flying particles of dirt, dust, and debris from causing injury to your eyes.
- Take time out from screen-time: Beware that too much time staring into your phone, tablet, or computer screen can cause Digital Eye Strain. To avoid this, follow the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to view something that’s 20 feet away.
Loss of vision from cataracts doesn’t have to be a symptom of getting older. You can prevent cataracts if you know how to protect your eyes, and cataracts can be can be treated early if detected. Spread this information to friends and family—especially those whom you know spend a lot of time outdoors. Taking a little precaution now can mean years of enjoying strong vision before having to undergo surgery. Isn’t that worth it?
This post is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School. With campuses in Malden and Fall River, MA, we offer several different professional training programs to prepare you for an exciting new career. Contact us today and schedule a visit!