Taking good care of your eyes is important during childhood, of course, because that is when your eyes and your vision are developing. Proper eye care is essential to prevent age-related sight problems, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, when you get older. But what about when you are in your 20s and 30s?
If you are like most young adults in this age range, your eyes are probably in good overall health – you might even have perfect 20/20 vision, with or without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. By taking the right steps to maintain good eye health, you may expect great eyesight for the next decade or longer.
5 Ways to Keep Your Eyes Healthy
1. Get enough sleep
Your eyes need at least 5 hours of sleep each night to work at their full potential during the day. Lack of sleep can result in eye spasms and twitches, popped blood vessels, and dry eye.
2. Give your eyes a rest from screen time
Staring at a computer screen all day can contribute to tired eyes and eyestrain. If you are like most people, you blink less frequently when staring at a computer for a long time, which can cause your eyes to feel dry and uncomfortable. To prevent eyestrain, adjust the lighting to reduce glare and harsh reflection, rest your eyes briefly every 20 minutes or so, and make a conscious effort to blink.
3. Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Certain foods contain antioxidants, which can reduce your risk of some eye diseases and eye damage from exposure to sunlight, cigarette smoke, and air pollution. The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin act as natural sun block to protect your eyes from harmful blue light. Eggs, carrots, leafy green vegetables, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, and sweet corn are good sources of antioxidants.
4. Wear eye protection during sports or work
Between 1.6 to 2.4 million people sustain eye injuries in the United States each year. Of these an estimated 40,000 will eventually become legally blind in the injured eye. Reduce your risk by wearing safety frames and sports eyewear.
5. Routine eye exams
The best way to ensure optimal eye health into your 40s and beyond is to undergo an eye exam at least once every two years. Your eye doctor may recommend yearly eye exams if you have a family history of eye disease, or if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, poor vision, or other conditions that increase your risk of eye problems.
We encourage you to call and schedule a routine eye exam with your eye care provider. If you have an urgent issue or need to be seen today for a routine eye exam, call us at (309) 243-2400 or walk in to be seen in our EyeCareToday clinic. EyeCareToday is located at our Peoria office, provides same-day access to eye care for patients ages 5 years and older with acute/urgent eye conditions, or for routine vision exams.