What Factors Affects My Eye Health?

What Factors Affects My Eye Health?
Posted on 04/10/2018

Helpful Tips For Maintaining Healthy Eyes & Clear Vision

Our vision is one of the most valuable senses that we have, allowing us to take in all of the beautiful sights that life has to offer. While many diseases threaten to take our sight away from us, there are specific lifestyle choices that you can make to ensure that your eyes stay healthy, reducing the chance that you develop serious eye disease in your lifetime.

At Brass Eye Center, our team of eye care professionals have been helping the families of Albany, Clifton Park, and Latham keep their vision at its best for years, which is why we’ve put together this helpful guide to what kind of factors affect your eye health and how you can keep your vision crystal clear.

What Are The Main Threats To My Eye Health?

Before we get into the different factors that contribute to healthy eyes and vision, we first need to look at the things that we’re aiming to avoid, which are serious eye diseases and conditions that can rob you of your eyesight. Here are the some of the leading threats to your vision:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) - As the name implies, this eye disease is tied to aging, involving the gradual deterioration of the retina over time which can lead to impaired vision and blindness. AMD is currently the leading cause of legal blindness in the United States, and while we may not be able to stop our aging, there are things that you can do to stave off the onset of AMD as you get older.
  • Cataracts - this is a condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy or filmy, causing blurry vision. While cataracts are mainly linked to eye injuries or aging, certain preventative measures may be able to reduce your chances of developing cataracts.
  • Glaucoma - the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S., glaucoma refers to a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, typically causes by high amounts of intraocular pressure (IOP) which can be managed through preventative efforts. 

Maintaining A Healthy Diet

While you may have heard that eating lots of carrots is great for your vision, that’s only a small part of the much bigger picture. Carrots are just one of many foods that contain special compounds called carotenoids, with others being bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, and much more. Not only do these carotenoids give those foods their vibrant colored pigment, but they also help prevent the development of cataracts AMD

Some very specific carotenoids that are very important for your eyes are lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both present in the retina and lens of your eye. They can also be found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, as well as many types of fruit such as strawberries and cantaloupe. Work some of those foods into your daily meals and you can reduce your chance of developing AMD and other conditions.

Staying Fit Vs. Lack Of Exercise

When it comes to maintaining healthy vision, you wouldn’t think that going to the gym or going for a run in the morning would make too much of a difference, but the truth is that your fitness can help keep your eyes healthy. When you don’t exercise, you increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is linked to eye diseases called diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. Keeping up with a regular exercise routine will help prevent the development of diabetes, help those who are diabetic reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, and even aid in the reduction of intraocular pressure for those at risk of developing glaucoma. Unfortunately, diabetes is not the only risk factor that has to do with staying fit, since there is also some evidence that links being overweight with increased risk of developing AMD. So if you want to keep your vision clear for years to come, get that body moving!

Sunlight Exposure

While most people are already aware of how harmful UV rays from the sun can cause significant damage to our skin and even cause skin cancer, it also poses a big risk to your eyes. Your eyes are susceptible to those UV rays as well, with overexposure leading to dry eyes and can even speed up the development of cataracts. Just like you would put sunblock on your skin on those hot, sunny days, make sure you protect your eyes by wearing high-quality UV blocking sunglasses or a hat when going out.

Steer Clear Of Smoking

Smoking is one of the biggest disservices you can do to yourself when it comes to your health and vision. Not only are you increasing your risk of developing oral, head, neck, and lung cancers, smoking is the only thing besides age that can definitively be recognized as a cause of AMD. While AMD can already cause blindness on its own, smoking also may increase the risk of developing cataracts and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, which is a disease that leads to deteriorating eyesight due to swelling of the cornea.

Contact Brass Eye Center For More Information!

If you have any questions about what you can do to keep your eyes healthy and vision clear, contact us at Brass Eye Center and a member of our staff will provide you with all of the information you need. We provide comprehensive, professional eye care to the communities of Albany, Clifton Park, and Latham, from your standard eye exam to laser eye surgery so schedule an appointment with us for all of your eye care needs. We look forward to seeing you in our office soon!