Tips for Prolonging Your Vision

- Christelle Gonzales

Christelle Gonzales - Insights from Future In Sight graphic

Individuals with low vision and those with normal vision benefit from methods to prolong vision and keep your eyes as healthy as can be. In honor of National Glaucoma week from March 10th-17th, here are a few tips to take optimal care of your eyes:

Eye protection – A simple and effective way to preserve vision and reduce strain on your eyes is to wear sunglasses year-round.  Ensure they block UVA/UVB rays or wear wrap around filters which fit over your standard eyeglasses.  Hats and wide brimmed visors are also helpful in blocking excessive rays.

20-20-20 Rule – We rest our bodies when tired, but do you rest your eyes?  During visual tasks, it’s important to take the time to look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes to prevent eye strain as recommended by Dr. Kristen Bryant.

Nutrition – Eating a healthy diet is an excellent way to preserve your vision.  Incorporating whole foods into your diet, such as dark leafy greens and colorful fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, provides the nutrition your eyes need.

Regular eye exams – You should visit your eye care provider at least annual, if not more frequently depending on your eye condition.  This will often detect early signs before you have vision problems.  Your provider may also ask you to self-monitor your vision daily using an Amsler grid.

Know your family’s eye history – It is important to know your family history and share with your provider.  Some eye conditions are heredity; other health issues such as diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of future eye conditions.

Exercise – It is recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week per the CDC.  This includes any physical activity that gets your body moving and at least two days of muscle strengthening activity.  Exercise has many systemic benefits; in the case of your vision, it improves circulation and oxygenation that impact eye health.

Medication compliance – Taking your medications as prescribed are a must.  While some medications become tiresome and you may not see improvements in your vision, it may help your condition from getting worse.  It is also important to discuss with your eye care provider what supplements they may recommend such as AREDS-2, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and copper.

Stop smoking – Smoking is linked to high risk of cataract disorders and macular degeneration.  It is best to quit smoking to preserve your vision and decrease progression of eye disorders.

We provide training, tools and resources to individuals of all ages who are blind and visually impaired and even offer a full calendar of activities. If you or someone you love is experiencing vision loss and could benefit from our services, please contact Future In Sight at [email protected] or 603-224-4039 today!

About the Author: Christelle Gonzales is an Occupational Therapist at Future In Sight.