Protect Your Vision

How to Protect Your Vision

If you’ve been struggling with poor vision, you’re not alone. According to the Vision Health Initiative (VHI), “Approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, 3 million who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error.”

While some causes of vision loss, such as age-related macular degeneration, are out of your control, there are steps you can take to protect your vision and keep your eyes healthy.

Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam

If you haven’t had your eyes checked in a while, make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. This type of exam will assess the health of your eyes and identify any problems that may be putting your vision at risk.

Even if you don’t have any symptoms of vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), “most eye and vision problems have no obvious signs or symptoms, so you may not know a problem exists. A comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect more than 80 percent of all potentially treatable eye diseases.”

The AOA recommends that adults have a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years. If you have risk factors for vision problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of eye disease, you may need to be seen more frequently.

Wear Protective Eyewear

Whenever you’re participating in activities where there is a risk of eye injury, it’s important to wear the appropriate protective eyewear. This includes activities such as racket sports, hockey, football, and baseball. It’s also important to wear protective eyewear when working with power tools or chemicals.

If you wear contact lenses, there are also special types of protective eyewear that can help keep your eyes safe. If you’re going to be participating in activities where there is a risk of eye injury, make sure to ask your eye care professional about the best type of protective eyewear for you.

You also need to protect your eye health and vision from the sun’s harsh UV rays, even on cloudy days. Your eyes can actually get sunburned, aside from just being irritated by the sun.

Wearing sunglasses also helps prevent squinting, which can lead to wrinkles around your eyes. Wearing sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of both UVA and UVB rays can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is important for your overall health, and it can also help protect your vision. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is especially important. Foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as spinach, kale, and berries, can help reduce your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for eye health. These healthy fats can be found in salmon, tuna, and other cold-water fish. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and walnuts. Some of the most important nutrients that help to protect your vision and reduce conditions that might affect your vision include:

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

You can get these from a wide range of foods, particularly leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad for your overall health, and it can also increase your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and other vision problems. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your eye health.

If you need help quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about programs and products that can help. There are a number of effective options available, and the sooner you quit, the better it will be for your health.

Monitor Your Eye Health

If you have a family history of vision problems or other risk factors for eye disease, it’s important to monitor your eye health closely. This may involve having more frequent comprehensive eye exams.

In some cases, you may also need to be seen by a retinal specialist or other eye care professional. These doctors can provide specialized care and treatment for conditions that affect the retina, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

You can also take steps at home to monitor your eye health. If you notice any changes in your vision, such as blurriness, difficulty seeing at night, or floaters, be sure to talk to your doctor. These could be signs of a serious problem that needs to be treated right away.

Try Some Eye Exercises

There are also some exercises that you can do with your eyes that help to improve vision and eye health. One example is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes that you’re staring at a screen, look away for 20 seconds and focus on an object that’s at least 20 feet away. This can help to reduce eye strain and prevent dry eyes.

Another exercise is simply to roll your eyes every day. Do this gently in one direction about 10 times, then in the opposite direction about 10 times. This helps to keep your eye muscles strong and healthy.

You can also try blinking exercises. Every 20 minutes that you’re staring at a screen, blink 10 times quickly. Blinking helps to keep your eyes lubricated and prevents dry eyes.


Taking care of your vision is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Not only is it important to protect your vision for your own quality of life, but it’s also crucial for safety reasons. Whether you’re driving, working with machinery or just crossing the street, good vision is essential to avoid accidents.

There are a number of things you can do to protect your vision from including wearing sunglasses, eating a healthy diet to quitting smoking, and monitoring your eye health. If you have any concerns about your vision, be sure to talk to your doctor for guidance.

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