Baltimore Ophthalmologist, Dr. Sonny Goel Announces Eye Care Tips for 2017

1. Eat Foods that Improve Eyesight

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for our overall wellbeing, but there are also certain foods that you can eat that will promote healthy eyesight. These include dark leafy greens, and bright colored fruit and vegetables, all of which contain powerful carotenoids which are essential for eye health. Lutein is one of 600 naturally-occurring carotenoids which strengthens your central vision, and is particularly beneficial in protecting against cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein and other carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin also contain important anti-oxidants which guard the body against damaging cell changes caused by free radicals, which have been linked to a number of serious diseases.

2. Wear Protective Sunglasses

Many people treat sunglasses as purely a fashion accessory, but they actually play a very important part in looking after the health of your eyes. You should always choose a pair that has 100% UV protection, as these will protect against harmful UV rays that can increase your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing adequate UV protection can also help to prevent the development of cancers of the skin around the eyes. UV rays are present all year round, even when it is cloudy outside, so wear your sunglasses as much as possible for the best protection.

3. Take a Break from Screen Time

Even if you don’t work at a computer or laptop, you probably still spend a good percentage of your day looking at a screen. Smartphones and tablets make it easy to connect with friends, colleagues and family 24/7 as well as providing countless hours of entertainment. In fact, some estimates suggest that many young adults spend as much as a third of their waking lives on their mobile device.

Too much screen time isn’t great for our eyesight. Prolonged periods of concentration on a display device can cause headaches, eye strain and myopia – a condition where you can see near objects clearly, but struggle to see objects that are further away.

Dr. Goel recommends applying the 20/20/20 rule as much as possible: for every 20 minutes of screen time you should look at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will help to reduce strain and allow your eyes to relax.

4. Be Allergy Aware

The FDA estimates that there are at least 36 million people in the U.S. that suffer from season allergies, the symptoms of which can include itchy, watery, red or sore eyes. Many patients are significantly more likely to develop eye conditions such as conjunctivitis during the time that their season allergies come into play, particularly if they wear contact lenses which tend to attract allergens to their surface. If you are normally a contact lens wearer, you may wish to consider swapping to eye glasses during this time.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies you should try and avoid irritants as much as possible. Purchase an air conditioner and change the filters regularly to minimize your symptoms as much as possible.

5. Wear Protective Eyewear

Our eyes are extremely fragile so ensuring you take adequate steps to protect them is very important, particularly if you participate in contact sports where more than 90% of injuries could be avoided by wearing the right eye protection. You should also take special care of your eyes when doing specific jobs around the home such as using chemical cleaning products, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedgerows, doing DIY, woodwork or even working on your car. A simple pair of safety goggles or protective glasses can prevent a number of common injuries seen by emergency rooms every week.

We are committed to helping you achieve the healthiest eyes and the best eyesight possible. If you would like to speak to Dr. Goel or the team about preventative care for your eyes, or any other aspect of your ocular health, give us a call today. We would be delighted to assist you.