Your feet can help protect your sight. If, that is, you direct them to your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam–the only way to know if your vision is at its best and your eyes are healthy.
Millions of people in the United States have undetected vision problems that can cause vision loss and even blindness, according to the National Eye Institute. Unfortunately, many eye diseases have no early warning signs, so you may be affected without even noticing it. The good news is that a comprehensive eye exam can protect your vision.
During this exam, drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil. This lets the eye doctor get a good look at the back of your eyes and examine them for any signs of damage or disease. Detecting eye diseases in their early stages can help save your sight.
Healthy vision can help keep you safe while you’re driving, participating in sports or taking part in recreational activities.
Here are some other tips to help you maintain your vision:
• Know your family’s eye health history. It is important to know if anyone in your family has an eye disease or condition since many are hereditary.
• Eat right to protect your sight. Perhaps you’ve heard that carrots are good for your eyes. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens, is also important for keeping your eyes healthy. Research has also shown that there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut.
• Wear protective eyewear. Many eye injuries occur around the home during household chores, while playing sports or doing yard work. Protective eyewear, including safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards, are specially designed to provide the most effective protection for a particular activity. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting good and home supply stores.
If you take care of your eyes, they will help take care of you. For more tips and information about eye health, visitwww.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes.