10 Ways to Protect Your Eyesight

By MedWatch, a Guest Blog Post

At Welltok, we’ve curated a stellar ecosystem of Connect Partners that cover the full spectrum of health and wellbeing, from condition management to tobacco cessation. One of our newest partners, MedWatch, is a care management company proven to increase savings and improve outcomes. In this excerpt from their latest Healthy Living newsletter, you can see a glimpse of how they provide relevant and practical information about many facets of wellbeing, like staying informed about optimal eye health. See below for the full article. 

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Protecting your eyesight is one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your quality of life. The leading causes of blindness and low vision are age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid vision loss from these age-related eye diseases and other problems.

1. Find out if you are at higher risk for eye diseases. Be aware of your family’s health history. Do you or any of your family suffer from diabetes or have a history of high blood pressure? Are you over age 60? Any of these traits increase your risk for sight-threatening eye diseases.

2. Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure. If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. In particular, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye strokes. (Pro tip: Getting people in for eye exams can help boost quality scores and close critical gaps in care).

3. Look for warning signs of changes in your vision. If you start noticing changes in your vision, see your eye doctor immediately. Some trouble signs to look for are double vision, hazy vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Other signs and symptoms of potentially serious eye problems that warrant immediate attention include red eyes, frequent flashes of light, floaters, eye pain and swelling.

4. Exercise frequently. Studies suggest that regular exercise — such as brisk walking — can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.

5. Protect your eyes from harmful UV light. When outdoors during daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts and other eye problems.

6. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Research has shown that nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, antioxidants and vitamins C and E might help ward off age- related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts.

7. Have an annual eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam, including dilating your pupils, can determine your risk for major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, which has no early warning signs or symptoms.

8. Don’t smoke. The many dangers of smoking have been well documented. When it comes to eye health, people who smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, uveitis and other eye problems.

9. Use safety glasses. Be sure to wear safety glasses when working with power tools or participating in active sports. Most work- and sports-related eye injuries that can cause permanent vision loss can be prevented with safety eyewear.

10. Protect your eyes from the computer. Avoid “computer vision syndrome” by taking the following precautions:

      • Alternate tasks
      • Reduce office lighting
      • Minimize screen glare
      • Take regular breaks
      • Remember to blink
      • Wear your glasses
      • Maintain good posture
      • Use a document stand
      • Adjust your monitor brightness

Source: All About Vision

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