We care about protecting your vision by providing glaucoma screening. Glaucoma has no symptoms and causes permanent irreversible vision loss. With proper screening the conditions that lead to glaucoma can be detected and treated. At Family Practice Specialists, we use the latest generational design of the handheld Applanation Tonometer to insure quick accurate glaucoma readings. This provides you, the patient, with a higher standard of care while reducing your risk of glaucoma by early detection. While we do have the necessary medical tools to ensure your recovery. The best medicine is preemptive medicine. Below are 11 things you could be doing to “Ruin Your Eyesight” as well some easy tips you can do in order to take better care of them.
- NOT EATING A WELL-BALANCED DIET
Diet and nutrition matter greatly when it comes to eye health. In fact, some fruits and vegetables are crucial for it, especially ones with vitamin C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Add citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, and fish to your meals as much as possible. What’s even more important is getting plenty of Water. Staying hydrated is key for tear production and keeping eyes well-lubricated. Also, make sure to skip foods high in sodium, which can dehydrate your body.
- USING OLD MAKEUP & SLEEPING IN IT
Always remember, anything you put near your eye is a potential risk. And yes, this includes your mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and eye creams. Also, throw away your eye makeup after three months according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Bacteria loves to grow in dark, damp places, so your mascara could be a breeding ground to some nasty infections. And always, always remove your makeup before bed.
- NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of problems, including weight gain, depression, and decreased immune function. Moreover, a lack of sleep is also hurting your eyes (some symptoms include twitching, dry eyes, blurry vision, and pain. Be sure to get a minimum of seven hours a night and remember, put down that smartphone before bed.
- STARING AT A SMARTPHONE OR COMPUTER SCREEN TOO LONG
Reading very small print for prolonged periods of time causes your eyes to work too hard, and straining to read the tiny text on your cell phone may be the reason your eyes hurt day after day, especially if for hours on end. It could also lead to blurred vision, dry eyes, dizziness, and nausea. Put down your phone every 20 minutes to give your eyes a break. You can also make the font on your phone bigger so your eyes aren’t working over time to read that tiny Facebook post. Be sure to also look up from your computer screen and look at something far away every so often.
- NOT WEARING YOUR GLASSES OR SUNGLASSES
Excessive squinting can lead to eyestrain, which can then lead to pain, and when you’re outside, use your shades. They help block harmful UV rays that could hurt your eyes over time. Sunglasses help minimize the effects of bright lights, including headaches, blurred vision, or red eye.
- RUBBING YOUR EYES
As tempting as it may be, it’s a huge no-no. Rubbing them too hard can break the blood vessels under the eyelids. So to soothe irritated eyes, try a cold compress instead.
- OVERUSING EYEDROPS
While they temporarily alleviate dry, itchy eyes, using them too often could actually irritate the eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that nonprescription eyedrops don’t actually improve the health of your eye, they just make your eyes appear less red. Lubricating drops usually come with preservatives and using them too many times can actually irritate your eyes. Instead get individual blister packs of artificial tears if you’re going to use them more than four times a day. If you’re treating itchy eyes, keep your drops in the refrigerator. The coolness helps to take away that itchy sensation. Again, avoid rubbing your dry eyes, and use a humidifier to increase moisture in your home.
- SLEEPING, SHOWERING OR SWIMMING IN CONTACTS
It may be late and you may be really tired, but that’s not a good excuse for not taking your contacts out. Not only does it increase your risk of an infection, but it could lead to permanent damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one million Americans visit the eye doctor each year with infections related to wearing contacts. Also, when you take them out at night, make sure your hands are clean and you use extra contact solution. Don’t wear your contact lenses in the shower or while swimming. Lakes, rivers, sea water, swimming pools, and even tap water can all harbor an organism called acanthamoeba, which can cause eye infection.
- IGNORING SYMPTOMS
Don’t assume that flashing lights, pain, fuzzy vision, redness, or light sensitivity will vanish automatically. If you see things floating around and then turning fuzzy, it could mean your retina is coming off, so get to the ophthalmologist quickly. A delay in diagnosis can mean much more complex surgery and a more guarded prognosis for recovery of vision.
- NOT WEARING GOGGLES OR EYE PROTECTION
Don’t just save your goggles for swimming. If you’re mowing the lawn, using a weed whacker, or doing home repairs, put some on to protect yourself from any flying debris, which can cause abrasions in the cornea.
Smoking increases the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration which is the progressive deterioration of part of the retina. It impairs the ability of your body to provide adequate nutrition and oxygenation to tissues, and that includes the tissues in your eye.
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