Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Take Care of Your Eyes

Photo by Amariei Mihai

Our eyes are how we see and experience the world. With age, we can expect vision changes to occur so we have to do our parts to keep our eyes healthy. August is National Eye Exam Month and therefore a good time to review some things to keep in mind for healthy eyes.

Get your regular eye exam

it is important to get checked for corrective glasses/contact lenses, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases that may be associated with medical conditions such as diabetes

Care for contact lenses properly

  • Wash your hands with soap before handling contact lenses and clean and disinfect the lenses before you put them back in your eyes
  • Clean your case regularly
  • Use fresh contact lens solution each time, don’t top off the old solution with new because it can brew bacteria
  • Don’t shower, swim, or use the hot tub with contact lenses
  • Be extra careful with eye makeup and make sure you get rid of makeup residue fully

Wear sunglasses

  • Wear sunglasses that block about 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • UV light can have harmful effects on the eyelid, cornea, lens and retina

Limit your screen time

  • Take a screen break every 20 minutes for 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away(20-20-20 rule) to prevent eye strain
  • Look into blue light filters or blue light glasses
  • By wearing blue light glasses, you can avoid eye strain, reduce eye diseases such as macular damage from damage to retina, prevent headaches, and even get better sleep.
  • Researchers found that artificial light from digital devices decreases the body’s production of sleep-inducing melatonin as it causes one to feel alert just like sunlight does.

Eat Eye healthy

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds)
  • Vitamin C (citrus fruits, red peppers)
  • Blueberries
  • Eggs (contains lutein, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc)
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, collard greens)
  • Carrots (rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene)
  • Sweet potatoes (contain beta carotene and Vitamin E)

Don’t rub your eyes

  • Rubbing eyes can cause damage to surrounding muscles and may even damage the tiny blood vessels below the surface of the skin causing vessel breakage and may lead to dark circles around your eye, darken existing circles, or blood shot eyes
  • Rubbing eyes can also cause scratching and/or thinning of cornea
  • Germs can get transferred from your hands to eyes leading to infection
  • Can increase intraocular pressure or pressure within your eye that can lead to eye disease

Wear protective goggles

  • Protect your eyes during high-risk activity such as construction work or sports

Drink plenty of water

Helps in production of tears and keeps eyes moist, prevents dry eye

Exercise to prevent eye disease