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Keep Your Eyes Happy and Healthy with These 5 Tips

The best way to treat eye conditions is to prevent them. By eating well, quitting smoking, and protecting your vision, you can keep your eyes in tip-top shape.

Eyes aren’t just the window to the soul: they’re also your window to the world, so it’s critical that you do everything you can  to keep them healthy. Taking care of your eyes will help to preserve your vision, but it will also improve your chances of success should you ever choose to undergo LASIK or another eye surgery. Here are five tips to help keep you bright-eyed and seeing clearly:

  1. Eat well

You are what you eat — and that applies to your eyes, too. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and nutrients like lutein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can all help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

Take a pass on the junk food, and fill up on green leafy vegetables, salmon, tuna, eggs, nuts, beans and plenty of citrus fruits instead. Eating a healthy diet will also help keep your weight at a healthy level and lower your risk of type-II diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in American adults.

  1. Quit smoking

Whether you’ve been smoking for two weeks or 20 years, it’s time to kick the habit. Smoking contributes to cataracts, optic nerve degeneration and macular degeneration (not to mention the negative effects it has on the rest of your body). Quitting can be tough for many people, so make sure you get assistance from your friends, family, and doctor. Every little push can help you get a little closer to quitting for good — and help your eyes in the process.

  1. Wear protective eye gear

Eyes are delicate. So whether you’re playing ice hockey, racquetball or jai alai, make sure you grab a set of polycarbonate goggles before getting in the game. Also, be wary of UVA and UVB rays; while they may not be as painful as getting hit with a racquetball, they’re just as dangerous. UV rays contribute to macular degeneration and cataracts, so be sure to wear sunglasses with at least 99% UVA/UVB protection when you’re out having fun in the sun. Wraparound pairs are extra cool and give you that much more protection from sunlight.

  1. Take a break from screens

We’re all guilty of spending too much time staring at screens, whether working hard at the office, playing an addictive game on our phone, or binging the hottest new TV show. The problem is that all that screen time can put a lot of strain on your eyes.

And aside from strain, too much screen time can cause blurred vision, dry eyes, and headaches. But there’s an easy solution: look away. Rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away every 20 minutes, and take longer breaks at least every couple of hours.

  1. Get checked out regularly by your optometrist

Your eye doctor is a key teammate in your fight against eye problems. Regular eye exams can ensure that your vision hasn’t deteriorated and help diagnose hard-to-catch conditions like glaucoma. Eye care professionals can also evaluate your family history and determine whether you’re at greater risk of developing particular conditions later in life. Regardless of vision acuity or age, periodic eye exams are a good idea for anyone trying to maintain their eye health.