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When you pay a visit to your Kansas City ophthalmologist, you’re no doubt hoping to hear good news. Perhaps you’d love to hear, “You’ve got great vision” or at the very least, “Your vision hasn’t changed remarkably.” This is perfectly understandable. We all want to keep our vision healthy, for as long as we can.

Many people are surprised to learn that they do have some control over their eye health — it’s not totally influenced by genetics. In fact, there are some simple practices you can incorporate into your everyday life to prevent common eye problems and maintain, or even strengthen, your vision.

1. Take Screen Breaks

Most of us spend a lot of time in front of one screen or another. Staying tuned in can be entertaining and even informative, but it can strain your eyes. Give your eyes a rest every now and then during screen time. A quick and easy protocol for breaks is 20-20-20 — that is, every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

2. Exercise Your Eyes

Perform simple eye exercises to promote good eyesight and alleviate strain.

  • Close your eyes and massage your temples, your cheeks and the bridge of your nose.
  • Roll your eyes several times clockwise and then counterclockwise.
  • Hold a pencil at arm’s length, and focus on it. Then, slowly move it closer to your face. Now, return it to the starting position at arm’s length. Repeat several times.
Healthy Eyes

3. Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

Foods rich in the antioxidants lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin protect your eyes from sun exposure. These nutrients are found in whole eggs, dark leafy greens, peppers and sweet potatoes. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon and many nuts and seeds, also benefit eye health.

4. Take a Supplement

If you’re not getting all the necessary nutrients to promote good eye health from your diet, you might consider taking supplements. Ask your eye doctor which supplements are right for you.

5. Stay Physically Active

Your eye health is linked to your overall health and wellness, so be sure to exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Doing so can promote good circulation, which is necessary for carrying beneficial nutrients to your eyes.

6. Use Protective Devices

Use protective eyewear when playing sports, doing carpentry/home improvements, or operating heavy machinery. Such precautions can minimize common eye conditions or injuries that may occur as the result of accidents.

7. Limit Blue Light

Blue light is a wavelength of light emitted from laptop, computer, TV and smartphone screens. While the verdict is out on whether blue light is linked to common eye problems such as macular degeneration, there is definitely evidence that this type of light can jeopardize sleep. Since resting your eyes and your body is vital to overall health, it can’t hurt to limit your exposure to blue light. Shut off screens at least two hours before bed, or use filters that block blue light.

8. Wear Sunglasses

Put on sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays before spending any significant amount of time outdoors, as the sun’s harsh rays can damage your eyesight. Choose glasses with 99-100 percent UV absorption. Keep in mind, however, that the sun does provide some beneficial wavelengths of light, so do spend some daylight hours without your sunglasses.

Are you doing all you can to ensure good vision throughout your life? Our Kansas City eye doctors can give you practical advice to help you better care for your eye health, regardless of your age or background. Give us a call today and schedule an appointment with your Kansas City opthalmologist for a one-on-one consultation or a comprehensive eye exam.

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