Tips for protecting your eyes, preserving your vision
May 11, 2021
By: Faisal Ridha Al-Timimi, M.D., Wayne Health Department of Ophthalmology
Taking proper care of your eyes is vital to good health and well-being. Having an annual eye exam, protecting your eyes from UV light and debris, maintaining a healthy diet and properly using contacts and glasses are just a few ways that you can protect your eyes and preserve your vision.
Just like seeing a primary care physician for an annual health exam, visiting an ophthalmologist for an annual eye check-up is important. Make your eye appointment now during Healthy Vision Month, and practice the following eye health habits to help maintain good vision across your lifetime.
- Get a dilated eye exam. It’s quick and painless. There are a number of eye diseases that have little or no symptoms, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry macular degeneration. If it’s been more than a year or two since your last exam, this is the most important way to screen for hidden eye diseases.
- Find out if you’re at risk for eye diseases. Ask your family about a history of eye problems. You may also be at increased risk if you are obese or have medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or thyroid issues. African Americans and Hispanics have higher rates of glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, eye conditions that are best treated in their early stages.
- Take care of your overall health. Eating healthy foods like green leafy vegetables is good for your eyes. Exercise regularly and quit smoking. These healthy lifestyle habits can improve small vessel circulation in and around the eyes, helping to maintain eye health.
- Protect your eyes by:
- Wearing sunglasses to screen your eyes from UV radiation of the sun
- Wearing protective eyewear during sports, yard work, home improvement projects and in any work environments, like factories or construction sites, where there is debris that could pose a risk to your eyes. Many eye injuries are preventable with safety goggles or glasses.
- Resting your eyes. With the pandemic, many people are working from home on mobile devices and computers. Try to take a break from the screen every 20 minutes or so. If your eyes become dry or irritable, use artificial tears to moisturize them.
- Using contact lenses properly. Never sleep with contacts in your eyes. Keep a backup pair of glasses to give your eyes a break from contacts and protect your corneas from harm.
People of all ages should have regular eye exams. Many eye conditions are silent, but can be caught early on through an exam by an ophthalmologist to prevent further eye injury. Wayne Health ophthalmologists are highly skilled at treating, managing and preventing a wide range of eye conditions. Wayne Health ophthalmologists are faculty members of the Wayne State University School of Medicine, who practice at the internationally renowned Kresge Eye Institute (KEI) at locations across Metro Detroit. To set up an appointment with a Wayne Health ophthalmologist, visit our website or call 877-929-6342.