Keeping your eyes healthy can help reduce the risk of developing an eye disease. Here’s some tips for what you can do.
- Get your eyes checked
Your eyes need regular checkups, too.
There may be no symptoms with serious eye conditions like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Other conditions, like diabetic retinopathy, can progress rapidly if left untreated. Early detection ensures prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Tip: Book a regular eye exam at least once every two years with an optometrist in your area.
- Protect your eyes from the sun
Exposure to sunlight is associated with a higher risk of developing AMD and cataracts. Wearing a hat with a brim and choosing sunglasses that provide at least 98% protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays can keep your eyes safe.
Tip: Check the tag for the UV rating before you buy your sunglasses.
- Eat well and exercise
Eat your veggies. A diet high in fats and low in nutrients may increase the risk of developing AMD.
Increase your intake of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, fresh fruit and dark green, leafy vegetables to get nutrients and antioxidants that help keep your eyes healthy.
Tip: Keep active. Excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure are all risk factors for AMD and diabetic retinopathy.
- Stop smoking
People who smoke are three to four times more likely to develop AMD.
Tip: Need another reason to butt out? Smoking is the No. 1 cause of significant sight loss for people over 50 in Canada.
- Think eye safety
When playing sports or working with power tools, protect your eyes with Canadian Standards Association-approved safety glasses or goggles.
Tip: You don't need a prescription for them and most hardware and sporting-goods stores carry a good selection.