Beware eye diseases

Getting older increases your risk of some eye diseases. You might also have a higher risk of some such problems if you are overweight or obese, or have a family history of eye disease. A check-up with FirstMed’s optometrist is recommended.

Other health conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, can also increase your risk. For example, people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy – an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness.

If you’re worried you might be vulnerable, talk to our specialist. You may be able to take steps to lower your risk.

It is good to know your family’s health history. Talk with your family members to find out if they’ve had any eye problems. Some eye diseases and conditions do run in families, such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma. Be sure to tell the eye doctor if there is such a history.

Protecting your overall health can go a long way toward keeping your eyes healthy. It’s important to make healthy choices and take good care of yourself.

Keep in mind that healthy habits such as eating well and being active can lower your risk for diseases and conditions that can lead to eye or vision problems, like diabetes or high blood pressure. Follow these tips for healthy vision:

  • Eat healthy foods. Be sure to have plenty of dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens. Eating fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids – for example, salmon, tuna, and halibut – is good for your eyes, too.
  • Get active. Being physically active helps you stay healthy. It can also lower your risk of those health conditions that can cause eye health or vision problems – as mentioned, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking isn’t only bad for your lungs, it can hurt your eyes, too. Smoking increases your risk of diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts, and it can harm the optic nerve. Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), is a medical condition that may result in blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field. Early on there are often no symptoms. If you’re ready to quit puffing, a Hungarian app called “Facing a problem? Don’t reach for the stick!” may assist. 

Every day, you can take simple steps to keep your eyes healthy. Use these tips to protect your eyes from things that can harm them:

  • Wear sunglasses. Even on cloudy days! Be sure to look for sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Wear protective eyewear. Safety glasses and goggles are designed to protect your eyes during certain activities, for instance playing sports, doing construction work, or doing home repairs. You can buy them from most eye care providers and some sporting goods stores. And protect your kids’ eyes when they play sports. 
  • Give your eyes a rest. Looking at a computer for a long time can tire out your eyes. Rest them by taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something a few metres away for 20 seconds.
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