Jeepers creepers, those are healthy peepers!
There are few things as precious as good vision, so it makes sense to protect your eyes and guard your eye health throughout your life.
Sometimes eyes get overlooked, or we only head in to see an eye doctor when we suspect something is wrong, so one of the first things you can and should do is get your eyes checked regularly by an eye care professional. Healthy adults should have an eye exam every other year.
Children should get their peepers checked regularly too. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. They should have another eye exam at age 3, and then again just before they enter the first grade — at about age 5 or 6.1 After that, unless they have any specific vision problems or wear corrective lenses, an exam every two years should be fine.
Aside from getting regular exams, what can you do to make sure your eyes are as healthy as possible? The National Eye Institute1 has some great advice and tips:
- Eat well. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark, leafy greens is one way to help keep your eyes healthy. Check out EyeFoods.com for some delicious eye-friendly recipes.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing diabetes, which in turn can contribute to vision loss. Talk to your doctor if you are having difficulty maintaining a healthy weight.
- Reduce eyestrain. If you spend a lot of time working at a computer, make sure to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break and help reduce eyestrain.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is as hard on your eyes as it is on the rest of your body, contributing to an increased risk of macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage—all of which can lead to blindness.
- Wear sunglasses. Make sure that your shades block out 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation so your eyes are as protected as possible from the damaging rays of the sun.
- Wear protective eyewear. Protect your peepers by putting on protective goggles or glasses when you’re playing sports or doing any handiwork around the home, especially if you’re using tools. Make sure you have protective gear on if your workplace requires it, and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
If you’ve never had an eye exam and you’re wondering what to expect, visit WebMD to find out what may happen during your appointment.
To find an eye doctor in your area, you can do some research online to locate offices near you, or ask your doctor for a referral. You might also want to talk to friends or family to find out if they have someone they like and trust.
It’s important not to lose sight of what really matters in life, so make a point of taking good care of your eyes so you’ll have the best vision possible for as long as possible.
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