Five Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

1) Regular Eye exams

It is recommended that all children get a full eye exam before beginning kindergarten and every few years after. Adults also should get their eyes checked, even if there is not an obvious problem. While eye damage has many causes computer screens are not one of them. Eyestrain from staring at a screen is not a disorder that causes any anatomical or structural damage; however, eyestrain may be due to other problems, so if there is any change in vision or change to the eye, he recommends seeing an ophthalmologist.

For anyone who purchases over-the-counter eyeglasses, that is also a good reason to visit an ophthalmologist. While not harmful, OTC glasses cannot correct for a stigmatism or differences between each eye. After the age of 60, people should make yearly visits as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration become much more common.

2) Wear Sunglasses

It may seem obvious, but if you spend any time outdoors, you should wear a hat and sunglasses. This is not just an issue of comfort. Studies have shown that repeated sun exposure could increase incidence of cataracts, which cause cloudy vision as well as macular degeneration, a condition that reduces vision in the central part of the retina.

Obviously, the bigger the lens, the more of the eye is protected, but any style with ultra violet protection is sufficient. For those looking for maximum protection, yellow and orange tinted lenses have been shown in some studies to absorb the wavelength of light that increases the risk for cataracts and macular degeneration..

3) Remove Your Contacts

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves some contacts for "extended wear," that is not a free pass to leave them in as long as you want. Leaving contacts in too long, especially overnight, can lead to infection.

4) Know Your Medication

Flomax, a medication for male urinary symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia, can complicate cataract surgery. Prednisone, a synthetic corticosteroid drug used to treat a range of autoimmune diseases, also has been shown to increase the risk for glaucoma and cataracts when taken for long periods of time. It is best to tell your eye doctor about any medications you are taking at each visit.

5) Do Not Wait to Get Cataract Surgery

Many patients who have a cataract wait years after an initial diagnosis to get surgery because they are waiting for the cataract to be "ripe," but the longer you wait, the higher the risk to get it out.

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