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The Impact of Lifestyle Factors on Eye Health

It is easy in the hustle and bustle of life to miss regular eye exams. Comprehensive eye exams with dilation and imaging testing can detect and diagnose eye conditions and diseases in their early stages when treatment is most effective. Take a moment now to book your appointment with Skyline Vision Clinic conveniently online at WEBSITE or by calling 719-630-3937. 

During an eye exam, various tests are performed to assess visual acuity, eye alignment, eye pressure and the health of the retina and optic nerve. Detecting conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and cataracts early can help prevent vision loss and preserve overall eye health. Underlying health issues often manifest with eye-related symptoms. Common conditions include diabetes, hypertension and autoimmune diseases. 

While some eye problems arise due to uncontrollable factors such as genetics and age, the impact of lifestyle factors on eye health remains the most consequential influence on quality of vision. From diet and exercise to screen time and sun exposure, everyday choices can either nourish, strain or progressively diminish the gift of eyesight.

A balanced diet is an integral part of overall health. The best vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to support eye health include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin and bilberry extract. A full day, and plate, of dietary delight can look like this: breakfast consisting of a spinach omelet with yogurt and berries, a lunch entrée salad with kale, nuts and slices of citrus fruit, and a dinner dish of salmon with sweet potatoes and leafy greens. Keep healthy snacks on hand like carrots with hummus or a handful of almonds. Swap sugary sweets for berries or bits of dark chocolate. These food options are essential for retinal function, protecting the eyes from oxidative stress, proper melanin production and reducing harmful high-energy light waves. With your food, drink lots of water. Adequate hydration helps prevent dry eyes, a common condition characterized by irritation, redness and discomfort. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help keep your eyes moist and lubricated, reducing the risk of dry eye symptoms, particularly in dry or arid environments. 

Proper diet suggestions often go hand in hand with the reminder to get daily physical activity. Exercise helps improve blood circulation which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the eyes and removes metabolic waste. Additionally, engaging in moderate aerobic activities like walking, jogging or cycling can help reduce the risk of eye conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy by regulating intraocular pressure and blood sugar levels.

While smartphones, tablets and computers offer convenience and connectivity, prolonged screen time can strain our eyes and contribute to digital eye fatigue. To alleviate screen-related discomfort and prevent long-term damage, practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away. 

Lastly, shield your eyes from the sun as often as possible. When outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat and 100% UV-blocking sunglasses. Harmful sun rays increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two common eye conditions that can affect vision later in life.