May is Healthy Vision Month from Glenn K. Davis, II, MD
Are you doing all you can for healthy vision? This May is Healthy Vision Month. Glenn K. Davis, II, MD and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) offer a few timely reminders. How healthy our vision is depends on several factors.
Protecting our eyes is a daily occurrence, whether we realize it or not. We enjoy the benefits of healthy vision, and for many of us eye health comes easy. There are those living with chronic conditions that can impact vision health. Paying attention to health concerns and other environmental factors can boost healthy vision.
Eight Ways to Protect Your Vision Now
From the time we open our eyes each morning, we use our vision. This daily use of our eyes can bring many interesting things. Just think of all the news, information, and creative artistry that surrounds us. We look forward to seeing our loved ones and friends. We might also encounter impressive architecture or the beauty of the natural world.
Our healthy vision makes all these sights real to us. We must do all we can to preserve our eye health. Did you know there are things you can do “right now” to protect your vision? Here are eight tips to ensure healthy vision not just in May but in months to come.
1. Find an eye doctor you trust.
To truly know the actual health of your eyes takes insight. Obtain this ‘inside look’ from an eye doctor you trust. As a medical professional and ophthalmologist, Dr. Davis is a doctor many entrust for their vision care and eye health.
Many eye diseases don’t have any early symptoms, so you could have a problem and not know it. The good news is that Dr. Davis can help you stay on top of your eye health! Dr. Davis can provide you a complete and comprehensive eye exam.
More good news is that with an eye doctor you trust, there is less worry about eye exams and less confusion over the vision health. Dr. Davis explains the various steps of what goes into a comprehensive eye exam. These can be a little different for each person, depending on the other health conditions mentioned earlier.
2. Ask how often you need a dilated eye exam.
One important part of the eye exam involves dilating the pupil of the eye. Dilating the eye allows Dr. Davis the ability to look inside the structure to check for any abnormalities. As stated above, many eye conditions do not have early symptoms.
Getting a dilated eye exam is the single best thing you can do for your eye health. It’s the only way to find eye diseases early when they’re easier to treat — and before they cause vision loss. Your eye doctor will decide how often you need an exam based on your risk for eye diseases. Ask your eye doctor what’s right for you.
A dilated eye exam is often the best way for Dr. Davis to schedule future visits for you. He may see signs that might require a shorter interval between visits. He may want to see you back in another month or two, wait six months or not expect you back for a year. The dilated eye exam combined with your other health concerns can make a difference in your healthy vision.
3. Add more movement to your day.
Many of us know the importance of exercise already, but did you know moving more directly benefits your vision? Physical activity can lower your risk for health conditions that can affect your vision, like diabetes and high blood pressure. A bonus is that it can help you feel your best.
If you have trouble finding time for physical activity, which is normal, try building it into other activities. Walk around while you’re on the phone, do push-ups or stretch while you watch TV, dance while you’re doing chores. Anything that gets your heart pumping counts!
Moving a few minutes more each day can promote healthy vision. Being off your computer screen or away from the television does rest your eyes, in fact. Going outdoors into the fresh air can be a boost to your mood as well as your vision health.
4. Get your family talking… about eye health history!
Some eye diseases — like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration — can run in families. While it may not be the most exciting conversation topic, talking about family health history can help everyone stay healthy. The next time you’re chatting with relatives, ask if anyone knows about eye problems in your family. Be sure to share what you learn with your eye doctor to see if you need to take steps to lower your risk.
5. Step up your healthy eating game.
Eating healthy foods helps prevent health conditions that can put you at risk for eye problems. Diabetes or high blood pressure are two common medical conditions that can affect vision health. Eat right for your sight by adding more eye-healthy foods to your plate! Try dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens. And pick up some fish high in omega-3 fatty acids like halibut, salmon, and tuna.
6. Make a habit of wearing your sunglasses — even on cloudy days.
You know the sun’s UV rays can harm your skin, but did you know the same goes for your eyes? It’s true. Wearing sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation can protect your eyes and lower your risk for cataracts. So be sure to add sunglasses to your must-have list before you leave the house. Sunglasses? Check! Healthy eyes? Check!
7. Stay on top of long-term health conditions.
We mentioned earlier that diabetes and high blood pressure can increase the risk of some eye diseases, like glaucoma. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, ask your doctor about steps you can take to manage your condition and lower your risk of vision loss. Managing these long-term conditions effectively can have lasting benefits for healthier vision.
8. If you smoke, make a quit plan.
This final tip for healthy vision is one you have heard, and maybe even accomplished. Quitting smoking is good for almost every part of your body, including your eyes! That’s right — kicking the habit will help lower your risk for eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Quitting smoking is hard, but it’s possible — and a quit plan can help.
Discuss your plans to quit smoking with Dr. Davis or your primary healthcare provider today. These are tips you can do ‘right now,’ so accomplishing this goal and these other tips can make a difference.
Call Glenn K. Davis, II, MD, at (540) 980-1965 in Pulaski or (276) 236-8307 in Galax today for an appointment. Follow us on Facebook for complete eye care to know you are doing all you can for healthy vision.