(Family Features) As you age, your eyes undergo natural changes year after year, making ongoing attention to your eye health an important aspect of your overall wellbeing.
The importance of ongoing eye care is a lesson champion wide receiver Victor Cruz learned young and learned well.
“When I was young my mom made sure that I went to all my annual vision tests and had my eyes checked numerous times just to make sure I was up to date,” Cruz said. “I had to make sure my vision was right because I was an athlete playing multiple sports and she wanted to make sure that my vision was taken care of first and foremost.”
In fact, the eyes are a good indicator of overall health. Trouble with your vision can be a red flag regarding eye health. In addition, according to the American Optometric Association, a range of signs of illnesses can be detected through an eye examination, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even rare hereditary diseases.
The World Health Organization, among other health authorities, asserts that more than 80 percent of vision problems can be prevented, treated or cured. Here are five easy tips for taking care of your eyes from the experts at Alcon, a global leader in eye care:
• Schedule routine eye exams. Your eye doctor will advise you on how regularly you should have an eye exam. This will vary based on your age, health, family history and whether you wear glasses or contact lenses. According to the American Optometric Association, most healthy people over 6 years of age should have an eye exam every 1-2 years.
• Ask for comfort when choosing lenses. If you need corrective contact lenses, recognize that advances have been made in contact lens technology and ask your eye doctor which product may be right for you. For example, DAILIES TOTAL1® contact lenses are the first and only contact lenses with water-gradient technology. The contact lens approaches 100 percent water content at the outermost surface,* creating a cushion of moisture that delivers outstanding end-of-day comfort.
• Keep contact lenses clean and replace them as recommended. Despite our best intentions, many of us aren’t properly caring for our contact lenses. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that approximately 99 percent of lens wearers reported at least one contact lens hygiene risk behavior, such as swimming in contact lenses or not washing hands before inserting lenses. Be sure to speak with your eye doctor about your contact lens options – some risky behaviors may be avoided by using daily disposable contact lenses.
• Be open with your eye doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor about any discomfort or irritation you may be experiencing with your eyes or if you notice changes in your vision. There are new vision technologies being introduced regularly so there may be new products that can help you.
• Protect your eyes from digital eye strain. Spending two or more hours a day staring at a screen (computer, smartphone, tablet, television, etc.) can lead to digital eye strain, which can result in physical straining that leads to dry, itchy or burning eyes. The Vision Council recommends protecting your eyes by following the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend staring at a screen, take a 20 second break and focus on an object 20 feet away.
Learn more about your eye health at MyEyes.com, where you can find resources to help you and your family take better care of your eyes and vision.
*Based on laboratory measurement of unworn lenses.