May is Healthy Vision month! What things can you do to help your vision health in May? Below, you'll find 7 things that you can do to help protect your eyes and keep your vision health at its best. Even though Healthy Vision month is only 31 days long, these 7 items apply throughout the calendar. Taking care of your vision is a lifelong journey that you and your optometrist take together. Start doing these 7 things as soon as you can and celebrate your healthy vision:
1. Schedule an Eye Exam
If you've already had your eye exam this year, that's fantastic! If not, what are you waiting for? Schedule one today! Every man, woman, and child should see their optometrist at least once per year. Getting a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to identify any looming issues with your vision. It's a preventative care power move. An eye exam gives your optometrist the information he or she needs to help you maintain and improve your vision. Celebrate Healthy Vision month with an exam.
2. Protect Your Eyes
Whenever you're in an area where projectiles, chemicals, or other foreign objects have a chance to enter your eyes (think dangerous work sites or while playing sports), make sure that you're wearing protection. Protective eyewear is essential. Eye injuries can be extremely damaging and difficult to recover from. By being proactive and wearing protection in dangerous situations, you're cutting down on the chances that you'll suffer an eye injury.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking negatively affects health in almost every way. That includes the eyes. If you smoke, do yourself (and your vision) a major favor and quit. Quitting is not easy. In fact, it's daunting and difficult. But, when you get to the other side, you'll be thankful. Smoking can be a contributing factor to multiple vision issues now and later in life. Kick smoking to the curb. It's a long-lasting move that can help protect your vision health.
4. Don't Forget Sunglasses
Sunglasses should be worn in every season! If you're only wearing sunglasses during the summer, it's time to change that habit. Even when the sun is less visible, its UV rays are still potent. In winter, for example, sunlight reflects off of the bright snow and directly at your exposed skin. Even your eyes can be sunburned. Remembering to wear your sunglasses when you're spending time outside is an easy way to protect your vision and stop damaging UV rays from harming your vision.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
When it comes to a healthy diet, color is king. That's especially true for your vision. Add color to your plate and you'll be taking a strong step towards healthy vision. Aim for dark leafy greens, bright orange and yellow citrus fruits, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (like pink salmon). Eating a healthy diet will help your overall health and can help protect your vision. Even if you start slow and gradually add more fruits, vegetables, and fish to your diet, you'll be doing a great deal for your health!
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
It's hard to argue with this one. Some days, it can feel like everyone on earth is running on low sleep simultaneously. Granted, getting good sleep is easier said than done. In a world dominated by screens and Netflix marathons, it can be hard to power down and get a good night's sleep. But, that's even more reason to prioritize shuteye. Sleep helps your body recover and helps tired eyes get the rest they need. If your eyes are feeling strained or tired, try setting an earlier bedtime and stick to it.
7. Keep Family in Mind
Your family history, that is. Because many vision diseases are hereditary, it's important that you know who in your family tree has experienced issues with your vision or with diseases that direclty affect vision. Sharing that information with your optometrist can help them know what to look for, when. Early detection is important in almost all cases. With the right knowledge, detecting and treating disease earlier becomes much more likely.
Start doing these 7 things for your vision health in May and you'll be celebrating Healthy Vision Month in style!