This Valentine’s Day while you’re out shopping for cards and candy, don’t forget to show your eyes the loving they deserve as well. While you should be mindful of your eye health every day of the year, it doesn’t hurt to use a holiday dedicated to love and attention to double check whether you’re doing everything in your power to take the best care of your eyes.
Are you seeing your doctor for regular comprehensive eye exams?
The most basic thing you can do for your eyes is to visit your doctor at least once a year. And don’t just settle for a basic eye exam to check for refractive errors or to update an existing prescription. Book a comprehensive eye exam that includes a dilation test so that your eye doctor can take a look at the back of your eyes. This will allow your doctor to check for any issues that could affect the retina, like a high level of intraocular pressure, which can lead to permanent blindness. In the same way you book a yearly physical, make sure you’re paying a yearly visit to your eye doctor as well.
Have you quit smoking yet?
No one needs reminding of the negative impact cigarettes have on our health, but people are often unaware of the impact smoking can have on their vision, too. This knowledge may even make people more inclined to give up smoking since the thought of permanent vision loss is more terrifying than the worst disease. Smoking can increase a person’s likelihood of developing cataracts and glaucoma. It also increases a person’s chances of developing diabetes, which can lead to complications that include diabetic retinopathy, a disease which affects the retina. Moreover, those who smoke three to four times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than those who do not smoke.
Are you eating a healthy diet?
As the old adage goes, you are what you eat. A poor diet can have a noticeable impact on your eye health. The good news is that there are specific foods you can eat to contribute to healthy eyes. Keep in mind that eating a lot of carrots is not going to eliminate your astigmatism, but it will reduce your likelihood of getting some of the diseases mentioned earlier. Some foods you should introduce or eat more of include:
● Dark, leafy greens: Dark, leafy greens are packed with nutrients that make them an all-around good choice for an overhaul of your diet.
● Fish: It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are fantastic for your eyes and can help prevent macular degeneration and dry eyes.
● Eggs: Next time you prepare some scrambled eggs and toast, know that you’re making a good choice for your eyes.
● Citrus fruits and berries: The high levels of vitamin C are believed to reduce the risk of cataracts. Sounds like a good excuse for a cold cup of orange juice, no?
Do you have vision insurance?
Vision insurance is not talked about as much as health insurance, but it is just as important. Since most vision insurance plans have waiting periods to prevent people from signing up only when they need a procedure, it’s important to plan ahead and get the coverage you need so that you can afford yearly exams or more expensive procedures like cataracts surgery if need be. Keep in mind that procedures like LASIK are considered elective procedures and may not be covered by your provider.
If you answered yes to all four of these questions, you are in a fantastic place when it comes to your vision health. And if you have shaken your head at a few of these questions, don’t fret. Better late than never. Take action today by booking an appointment with one of our associates at Washington Eye. We are located in Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, and Washington D.C. Give us a call to start showing your beautiful eyes the love they deserve.