Simple tips for healthy eyes
GEHA | January 9, 2019
Your eyes are an important part of your health. Don’t take them for granted. Follow these steps to keep them healthy.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Your eyes benefit from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collards. Research has also shown benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut. A well-balanced diet helps you maintain a healthy weight, which lowers your risk for getting type 2 diabetes (a leading cause of blindness in adults).
- Quit smoking. Smoking has been linked to an increase risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
- Wear sunglasses. Protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Choose sunglasses that block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Use safety eyewear. If wearing protective eyewear is required for your job, make a habit of wearing it. Also wear safety glasses or protective goggles at home when doing tasks with the potential of hazardous or airborne materials.
- Give your eyes a rest.Your eyes can get fatigued if you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing. This can result in eyestrain, blurry vision, trouble focusing at a distance, dry eyes, headaches, or neck, back and shoulder pain. Rest your eyes with the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Get annual eye exams. Everyone should have regular eye exams, including young children. If your vision needs corrected, your eye doctor can help you decide whether eyeglasses or contacts are right for you. Eye exams can also find diseases that have no symptoms, such as glaucoma.
There are two types of eye doctors. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in eye care and provide general eye care, treat eye diseases and perform eye surgery. Optometrists have four years of specialized training after college. They provide general eye care and treat the most common eye diseases, but don’t do eye surgery.
GEHA has vision coverage for medical and dental plan members for no additional premium. Learn more
“How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy,” webmd.com, WedMD LLC, 18 April 2018.
“Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes,” nei.nih.gov, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2018.