It’s Healthy Vision Month in May.
Like the rest of your body, there are ways you can promote and protect your eye health.
Dr. Dan Clousing, an optometrist for Beaver Eye Care in Sioux Center, provides vision care to patients one day per week – 8 a.m.-noon Wednesday – at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.
He shared five tips for healthy eyes and why they are important:
1) Schedule yearly comprehensive exams: Comprehensive eye exams not only evaluate a patient’s vision but can also detect serious health issues like hypertension and diabetes. Call your optometrist to schedule a comprehensive exam to promote a lifetime of healthy vision!
2) Protect against UV rays: We all know that long-term sun exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause harm to your skin, but it can harm your eyes as well! Long-term sun exposure can contribute to numerous eye diseases, so protect your eyes when you head outside. Choosing proper sunglasses is very important. Look for a pair that blocks 90 percent of UVA and more than 99 percent UVB.
3) Give your eyes a break from digital device use: The average adult spends a majority of their day using digital devices at both work and home. This can increase the risk of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which can cause problems such as eye strain, dry eyes, and neck and back pain. The American Optometric Association recommends using the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, give your eyes a 20 second break and look 20 feet away. This will help relieve eye strain and help avoid CVS.
4) Maintain a proper diet for eye health: We all know that we need daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but sometimes we forget that the eyes need nutrients too! Certain nutrients – antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and the mineral zinc – have been identified as promoting better eyesight and eye health. Our body does not make these naturally, so it’s important to incorporate them into our daily diet. The best way to do this is by making sure we make leafy green vegetables a part of our regular diet!
5) Practice safe use and wear of contact lenses: Contact lenses are medical devices that are regulated by the FDA. While some people adhere to the proper care and disposal of their contact lenses, many people are breaking the rules and putting their vision at risk! Overwearing contact lenses can be very detrimental to eye health. The rules and regulations for your contact lenses should be adhered to in order to continually promote good eye health. The American Optometric Association has a website that offers tips and guidance: www.contactlenssafety.org.
Thank you, Dr. Clousing, for providing eye care to patients at Promise and sharing this advice!