Although we’ve become adept as a species at preventing blindness, it isn’t without effort. Proper eye care involves more than just getting a new pair of glasses from time to time or keeping your contact lenses clean. If you want to preserve your eyesight, you’ll need to be mindful of sun exposure, practice healthy habits, and make sure to attend your routine exams, especially as you get older and your risk of glaucoma and other conditions increases.
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Brittni Rodriguez, OD, and Sarah Quan, OD, perform comprehensive annual exams to reveal any issues like potential glaucoma or other eye concerns.
Support your vision
If you wear glasses or contacts, you likely already understand the importance of maintaining your eyesight. Even if your vision is perfect, you have to make an effort to keep it that way. The eyes age along with every other part of the body, especially if you don’t care for them.
Protect your eyes
This refers to both protective eyewear and sunglasses, which are equally important to preventing injury to the eyes. If you are a machinist, scientist, welder, or work in another occupation where your eyes are at risk, don’t neglect your goggles. It only takes a single accident to permanently alter your sight. If you spend any amount of time outside, even in the seat of a car, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses or transitional lenses.
Take regular vision breaks
This is especially important if you spend a lot of time reading small print or staring at a digital screen. Make sure to look up and train your eyes on something else, exercising your sight at a distance as well as up close. A good rule of thumb is 20-20-20: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Monitor your general and eye health
Many different health complications can put you at risk of losing your sight, especially diabetes and high blood pressure. Many of these health issues can heighten your risk of eye conditions like glaucoma, which shows little to no symptoms until significant damage has been done. To safeguard the health of your eyes, make sure to manage your overall health and schedule routine examinations with a specialist.
Eat foods that support eye health
What you eat can affect your eye health. Make sure you have plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits in your diet, along with healthy fats like those found in seeds, nuts, and fish. Beans, legumes, and eggs should also be on your weekly must-buy grocery list.
Find the right doctor
Before you can begin receiving routine exams, you’ll need to find someone you enjoy seeing, both literally and figuratively. The more of a medical history you build with a doctor, the easier it will be for them to detect abnormalities and potential problems.
It’s important that you get into the habit of visiting with a vision specialist for full examinations, not just a visual acuity test. Though a simple eye exam is often enough to update your prescription, you’ll need to undergo additional tests to screen for conditions like glaucoma.
You will also need to increase the frequency of your visits as you get older; adults over 40 should receive a full examination every two to four years, and older adults should increase the frequency of these visits until they’re going annually.
To schedule an examination and learn more about maintaining your sight, schedule a consultation with the team at Harlem VistaSite Eye Care. To make an appointment, call 646-453-6506 or book online.