March is Save Your Vision Month and there is no better time to start taking steps to protect the health of your eyes. Think there is little you can do to prevent vision loss as you age? Think again — 8 out of 10 people with vision loss could have saved their sight through prevention or treatment.1
Start with these easy steps to make sure your future is a bright one.
More than a fashion statement
The right pair of shades can help you delay the development of cataracts, prevent retinal damage, and protect the skin around your eyes from skin cancer and other growths. An added bonus? Sunglasses can even help prevent those dreaded crow’s feet!2 Look for eyewear that blocks 100% of Ultraviolet-A and Ultraviolet-B rays.
An apple a day
To protect your vision, what you put on the inside is as important as what you wear on the outside. In a recent study, participants who ate just over five ounces of fruit each day were nearly 15% less likely to have age-related macular degeneration (AMD)3 —– apparently an apple a day does more than just keep the doctor away!
Nutrition affects all aspects of your health, and your vision is no exception. Foods containing fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E appear the most beneficial in preventing AMD, while zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids have shown promise in also combating cataracts and dry eye. One unexpected finding — people who consumed more caffeine also had less AMD, so don’t worry about indulging in your daily cup (or two!).
Patients at risk for diabetes or AMD may also benefit from a low–glycemic index diet, avoiding foods such as sweets and white bread.4 Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any diet or adding daily supplements.
Save your breath, save your vision
All of your efforts to live a healthful life can be undone with one bad habit. Smoking does more than just damage your lungs; it has been linked to both AMD and cataracts, too. Need help quitting? Talk to your local Health Mart pharmacy about available resources.
Don’t be shortsighted — send the kids outside
We know that keeping kids active can keep them healthy, but can simply playing outside help them see better? Early studies indicate that spending time outside early in life may actually decrease the risk of nearsightedness. So slather them with sunscreen, hand them a pair of sunglasses and shoo the kids out the door! 5
It’s all about prevention
While you’re staying active, make sure you are using the appropriate equipment to stay safe. Two-and-a-half million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. If you or your children play sports, make sure to wear standard protective eyewear and check with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to make sure your gear meets your needs.2
Getting older doesn’t have to mean a dimmer future. Taking simple steps to protect your vision now can mean that the future really is so bright, you’ve got to wear shades!
Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.
- AAO: The Bright Future of Vision Care. Available at:
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/bright-future-of-vision-care. Accessed 2-3-17.
- AAO: Top 10 Tips to Save Your Vision. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/top-10-tips-to-save-your-vision-2. Accessed 2-3-17.
- AAO: Mediterranean Diet May Keep AMD at Bay. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/eating-mediterranean-diet-may-keep-amd-at-bay. Accessed 2-3-17.
- AAO: Diet and Nutrition. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/diet-nutrition . Accessed 2-3-17.
- MedlinePlus: Can Extra Time Outdoors When Young Reduce Nearsightedness? Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162315.html. Accessed 2-3-17.
Posted on Wed, March 1, 2017
by Health Mart