Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tips for Healthy Eyes

Eyesight is something that many of us take for granted. Yet every year, thousands of people lose their best vision due to injury or disease. There are parts of the eye that, once damaged, cannot be repaired or replaced. It is important to take good care of your eyes to keep them as healthy as possible.
We recommend you follow these tips to preserve your vision and protect your eyes.
Get an annual check-up by an eye care professional. At Eye Care Associates, we not only check your need for eyeglasses or contacts, we screen for a variety of potential conditions and diseases of the eye, including glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. If you have a family history of eye disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure, you may need to visit a specialist twice a year.
Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any changes in your vision. Trouble signs include: double or blurred vision, halos around lights, parts of letters or words missing from a printed page, difficulty judging depth perception on stairs or curbs, faded or distorted print, washed-out or faded colors, inability to see faces clearly, difficulty seeing when going from light to dark, sparks of light appearing off to the side, sudden pain in one or both eyes, or sudden appearance of "floaters" in your line of vision.
Protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays, dust, wind and bright lights. Be sure to wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UV rays. The UV blocking capacity should be clearly stated on the label or manufacturer's warranty.
Eat a healthy diet. Research suggests that diets rich in antioxidants (leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits), carotenoids (carrots, kale, and spinach), zinc (beef, pork, and lamb), and selenium (fish, shellfish, and red meat) play a beneficial role in helping to reduce the severity of certain age-related eye diseases.
Take care to avoid accidental injury to the eyes. Wear protective goggles when doing yard work, using power tools or playing sports. If a foreign body enters your eye, DO NOT RUB your eye; instead, wash it with plenty of water. If acid or any other chemical gets into your eyes, immediately wash them with plenty of water, seek emergency care (emergency room visit) or see your doctor as soon as possible.
Make sure there is sufficient light for any task, especially reading.
Use common sense when watching television or working at a computer.
Keep a distance of 8 - 10 feet between your eyes and the TV screen. Blink your eyes frequently while watching a program. Do not turn off the lights in the room. Give your eyes a break every half hour if you are watching a long program.
People who work long hours at the computer often complain of double vision, temporary shortsightedness and visual fatigue. Some suggestions that may help include:
* Use a screen filter to cut down on glare
* Adjust the brightness and contrast of the monitor
* Take frequent breaks
* Blink frequently to keep your eyes well lubricated
* Periodically, look up from the screen and focus on an object in the distance to reduce eye fatigue.
For more information, please contact the patient advisor by phone at 330-747-2733 or by email at