Most things in life don’t have a quick fix. That’s especially true for your general health, but its safe to say most people would benefit from paying a little more attention to how they treat their bodies. While staying healthy may not be as easy as the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” you can start off with a few short steps to head in the right direction.
You are what you eat.
You’ve probably heard that eating carrots helps your eyesight. While we can’t promise you’ll get 20/20 vision from chomping on the vegetable, we can say that it nourishes the eye. Carrots, and other red-orange pigmented fruits and veggies, are rich in beta-carotene (which gives them their color). Foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin (think green) are also very beneficial to the eyes. Loading up those vegetables - peppers, spinach or kale - can easily add a boost for your overall health. Protein sources like eggs, salmon and trout, and nuts and legumes, also offer helpful nutrients to your system.
Have You Stopped Yet?
Plenty of Americans smoke cigarettes or use tobacco for whatever their reasons. If you’re concerned about your health, this is a good place to start. You’re probably already aware of the complications that smoking may cause you, and all the benefits of stopping. Beyond everything you’ve already heard, smoking has been linked to causing cataracts and macular degeneration. We know that quitting smoking is a big under-taking. It takes a strong willpower, a solid support system, and a good environment to be able to quit altogether. There is no shame in relapsing or needing to take it slow. Whatever pace you go at, you’re making progress.
While getting exercise is beneficial for plenty of reasons, it is also great at helping your eye health. The overall improvements to your cardiovascular health help with longevity, and can even reduce your risk of many eye diseases - age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related cataracts.
Eyes and the Number 20
You’ve heard of 20/20 vision, but do you know about the 20-20-20 rule? Well, in our modern age of staring at screens, a new tip has been born - remember the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. The human eye can’t evolve fast enough to account for all our time spent focusing on the up-close work of a digital screen. Be sure to give yourself breaks often so that you can leave your online activities without eye strain or dry eyes.
Come Visit Us!
While we love to see your smiling faces in our offices, we also like to know you’re doing well! Having an annual exam is crucial to your eye health. The eyes are not only a window to the soul, but also paint a picture of your overall health. A trained eye doctor can tell if there’s something suspect during a routine eye exam - even beyond an eye disease that doesn’t have symptoms. Oftentimes, the best treatments for health concerns are when something is caught early on, so don’t forget to visit your doctors every year!