Did you know that certain habits can affect your vision? It’s true! Some bad habits, such as smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, can lead to eye disease and vision loss; while many good habits can prevent these diseases and keep your eyes in top shape.
Prevent Vision Loss by Changing these 5 Habits
1. Quit smoking!
Smoking can cause the tiny blood vessels in your eyes to break down or leak, or become blocked; this sets the stage for eye disease. Smoking increases your risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome.
2. Eat healthy foods
Certain foods contain nutrients that are good for your eyes and for your vision. Leafy green vegetables, such as collard greens and kale, supply your eyes with the zeaxanthin and lutein that can protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers, sunflower seeds, and other fruits and vegetables are also high in vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene to keep your eyes functioning at their best.
3. Control blood pressure and cholesterol
High blood pressure can damage the tiny vessels that supply blood to your retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the interior of your eyes. Damaged blood vessels here can leak blood and cause vision loss. High cholesterol levels can increase the pressure inside your eyes, which can damage your optic nerve. Control high blood pressure and cholesterol by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, and taking cholesterol and blood pressure-lowering drugs as prescribed by your doctor.
4. Stay active
Regular exercise is good for your overall health, but it is also good for your eyes. Aerobic exercise gets your heart pumping, which then increases the flow of blood to your retina and your optic nerve. Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio exercise, can decrease the pressure inside your eyes too. Lastly, regular exercise helps you keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels.
5. Visit your eye care professional regularly
Many eye problems develop so slowly that you may not notice vision loss until the condition has reached an advanced stage, when it is most difficult to treat. Your eye care professional uses advanced tools and techniques to evaluate the health of your eyes and to spot vision problems early, before permanent damage robs you of your vision.
To learn more tips on what you can do to prevent vision loss, talk with your eye doctor at Illinois Eye Center. Good vision often starts with good choices.