May is Healthy Vision Month, a reminder for people of all ages to take proper care of their eyes. The eyes are important, but unfortunately, often overlooked when it comes to overall health. Your vision helps you interact and engage with the world, so your ability to see clearly is essential. From nutrition, to healthy vision habits, there are many ways to help our eyes be in the best shape possibly.
Your Seattle eye care clinic at Clearview Eye & Laser would like to share our top four tips to maintaining eye health for the month of May and beyond.
1) Take a digital break
Most digital screens emit blue light, also known as high-energy visible (HEV) light wavelengths. Blue light is known to cause discomfort and possibly long-term damage to the retina with prolonged exposure.
According to The Vision Council, more than 87 percent of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours a day. This includes computer, tablet, e-reader and smart phone use. Furthermore, 31 percent of people reportedly have digital eye strain. Digital eye strain causes redness, discomfort and dryness from decreased blinking and blurry vision from screen glare.
In order to prevent digital eye strain, use the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes spent looking at a digital screen, look away at something that is 20 feet away from you for a total of 20 seconds. Set a timer to help remind you if you’re busy working. It’s also helpful to get up and drink water to keep your body and eyes hydrated.
2) Wear sunglasses and eye protection
Sunglasses are not only a fashion accessory, they can protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Extended UV exposure in your eyes can cause cataracts, growths and even cancer in the long-term. Even during cloudy conditions, which we see often in Seattle, we recommend our patients protect themselves at all times when outdoors.
The National Eye Institute reports that eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States. 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided with proper eye protection. Parents and coaches should promote the use of safety googles or glasses when playing sports. Parents should serve as an example and wear eye protection when needed—whether in the workplace or during a physical activity.
3) Eat foods that promote healthy vision
Our Seattle eye doctors recommend maintaining a nutritious diet not only to benefit overall health and wellbeing, but the health of your vision. Research shows that a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, but low in saturated fats and sugar is the best of your eyes.
Experts suggest choosing vitamin-rich foods, such as selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid, zinc, and omega-3 fats, found in vegetables, fruits and healthy protein. Foods known for the eye benefits include: leafy greens, eggs, citrus fruits, berries, salmon, and yes, carrots as well.
4) Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Clearview Eye & Laser
The only way to properly detect vision issues or eye disease is with routine eye exams at your Burien or Seattle eye center at Clearview Eye & Laser. Adults should have comprehensive eye exam at least every two years. For those older than 60, annual eye exams help closely monitor any serious changes in eye health, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
Parents should not overlook the importance of eye exams for their children. A child’s undetected poor vision can affect their academic performance, ability to play or participate in sports and self-confidence. Learn more about pediatric eye exams in our previous blog post.
Contact our Burien or new West Seattle eye clinic to schedule a visit for you and your family today. If you have any questions or would like additional eye health suggestions during Healthy Vision Month, don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable eye care team.