eyecareTo many, their eyes and vision are of the utmost concern in the sense that, to lose vision or incur damage to the eyes, their lives would be drastically changed.  However, between flu shots, annual physicals, the dentist and so on, vision care is often overlooked as a necessary part of one’s health maintenance routine.  This, however, should change.  Vision and eye care should not only come into focus when problems crop up, but rather, be placed in the forefront of one’s daily physical care habits.

Annual Check-Ups

For those 40 and over, yearly visits to the eye doctor are very important.  Be sure your doctor checks for signs of damage, disease, and aging.  For those of you with certain risk factors or medical conditions, perhaps more frequent visits are needed.  If it’s been a while since you’ve graced the office of an eye doctor, make an appointment, and with the help of your physician, set up a check-up schedule that he or she sees fit for you.

Shade Your Eyes

Just like with skin, the sun’s UV rays can also damage and age your eyes, seriously affecting your vision.  If you’re planning to be in the sun, don a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to help shade your eyes.  This will also decrease squinting and eye strain.  As a bonus, this will also reduce the signs of aging around your eyes, as squinting causes fine lines and crow’s feet.

Diet & Vitamins

Fruits and leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals that can help stave off eye disease and conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Also, supplementing your diet with multivitamins (specifically A, C, E and the mineral zinc) help to promote eye health and prevent signs and symptoms of aging.

Light, Breaks & Sleep

When reading, be sure there’s plenty of light shining on your book, magazine or newspaper.  Forcing your eyes to work extra hard to peer through the dark increases eyestrain, eye fatigue and weakness.  If your job entails loads of reading and/or computer work, be sure to take frequent breaks.  Sit back, close your eyes and think happy thoughts.  In the evening, place sliced cucumber on your eyes for 15 minutes or cotton balls soaked in milk also soothe tired eyes.  And of course, as with all health maintenance, be sure you get plenty of good sleep.  This is the time for your entire body to relax and rejuvenate—and the eyes are no exception.  I also use a sleep mask to ensure no light disrupts my deep sleep or continues to stimulate my eyes.

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