Healthy Habits for a Lifetime of Good Vision
Dr. Gregory Johnson of Intracoastal Eye has seen first-hand how losing precious vision to an eye disease can change a person’s quality of life. He believes that cultivating a few simple habits can help reduce your risk of eye disease and ward off problems that threaten vision.
Dr. Johnson believes strongly in physical fitness, and new research indicates that people who exercise a few times a week are less likely to develop eye problems such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Smoking is a risk factor for serious eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. If you smoke, an enormous number of resources are available via your healthcare provider or online to help you quit (the CDC’s guide is a good place to start). If you don’t smoke, try hard to keep it that way!
Manage Chronic Health Conditions
Diseases like diabetes and hypertension can affect vision and eye health. Diabetics are more likely to get serious eye diseases. If you have a chronic condition, work with your primary care doctor to keep it under control. Take medications as prescribed and see your doctor regularly for check-ups.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes and other chronic health conditions that may affect your vision and eye health. By maintaining a healthy weight, you are promoting healthy eyes.
Practice Safe Contact Lens Care
Countless people develop eye infections (some of them very serious) due to lackadaisical contact lens care and handling. Be diligent about washing your hands before putting in or taking out your contact lenses, never sleep in your contact lenses, and use extreme care to clean and store them properly.
Wear Eye Protection
Exposing your eyes to the sun’s UV rays for prolonged periods of time can increase the risk of cataracts and other eye problems. Anytime you are outside in the sun — whether you are going to the beach or pool, walking your dog or gardening — you should be sure to wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.
Be Mindful of Your Screen Time
An increasing number of people are experiencing vision symptoms due to the effects of spending a lot of time looking at computer, tablet or smartphone screens. To minimize digital screen time’s effects on your eye health, take regular breaks from staring at a screen to rest your eyes. Dr. Johnson recommends the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to focus on an object 20 feet away.
For more information about preserving your vision and eye health and staving off problems, contact Dr. Johnson and the team at Intracoastal Eye today.