Over 20 million people in North America alone suffer from severe vision loss. Not all of these eye diseases can be prevented or cured, but there are some things you can do to help your eyes remain healthy and possibly lower your risks of developing serious vision loss.
Here are 4 things you can do to avoid severe vision loss:
1. Utilize UV blocking sunglasses: Overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can increase your risks of developing cataracts. Sunglasses that are certified to block 95 to 100 percent of UVA-A and UV-B rays can protect your eyes against the suns harmful rays. These sunglasses prevent retinal damage and protect your eyelids being sunburned as well—a nice side effect of this is it also helps prevent wrinkles.
2. Don't smoke: At this point it probably has begun to sound like a broken record, but you should avoid smoking and if you smoke already then it is time to quit! Aside from the risk of lung cancer, smoking can cause some serious side effects to your eyes as well. Smoking increases your risks of developing cataracts and accelerates age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
3. Take your vitamins: If you have a vitamin deficiency it can impair your retinal functions. There is some truth behind the “eat your carrots” eye health claims, but in all actuality, there are a lot of other vegetables out there that can be just as beneficial, if not more beneficial for your retinal health. Studies have shown that diets with high levels of vitamin E and C, lutein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and zeaxanthin can help to reduce your risks of developing advanced AMD.
4. Regular eye screenings: Just because you aren't showing any signs of eye disease does not mean you aren't at risk of eye disease. You should get regular vision screenings to properly assess and maintain your eye health. Not all eye diseases show visible symptoms early in their development, so it is important to catch those diseases early to properly treat or slow down the progression of said eye disease. It is important to consult your eye care physician and set up routine screenings to properly maintain your eye health, especially if your family has a history with eye disease.