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You may have already made a resolution to eat healthy and quit smoking, but are you doing everything you can to keep your eyes healthy? Your eye health is just as important as your overall health, so read on as a Marysville, WA optometrist offers three habits to promote eye health in the new year.
In order to maintain good eye health and avoid vision problems, it’s important to eat healthy. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. In contrast, unhealthy foods are high in fat, sugar, or sodium, which contribute to the development of diabetes and hypertension, both of which are known risk factors for eye disease.
Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Try to eat at least five servings per day of colorful fruits and vegetables such as spinach, carrots, or tomatoes because they contain vitamins C and E which are antioxidants that help protect against damage by free radicals (which can cause cataracts). Fruits & vegetables also contain fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels.
Consider adding more fish into your diet on a regular basis because fish contains omega-3 fatty acids (DHA) that can help prevent macular degeneration among older adults.
You’re not just risking your health when you smoke; you’re also putting your eyes at risk. Though a majority of smokers are aware that tobacco can cause heart disease and lung cancer, many don’t realize that smoking can damage the optic nerve, which sends information about what you see to the brain. Smoking increases the risk of cataracts (clouding in the lens), macular degeneration (a breakdown in central vision), and diabetic retinopathy (blurred vision caused by diabetes).
Don’t skimp on how you protect your eyes from UV rays when you’re outside. Make sure any sunglasses or goggles you wear block 100% of UVA and UVB radiation, and don’t use them for protection against the sun’s glare only—they should offer full protection from UV. If you frequently participate in sports or other activities that put your eyes at risk, opt for sports goggles that provide maximum coverage even when worn over prescription glasses (or just stick to traditional shades).
So if you want to keep your eyes healthy, it’s important to be aware of the habits that can damage them. Practicing these three habits will help you stay on track and maintain good vision for many years to come!
And if you have more questions or wish to schedule an eye exam, please feel free to call us, your local Marysville, WA optometry office anytime!