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How can I prevent eye problems?

Follow these 10 steps to prevent vision problems and keep your eyes healthy:

  1. Know your family's eye health history - Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It's important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition that affects vision since many eye problems are hereditary.
  2. Schedule an eye exam - A visual acuity test will help your optometrist determine if you need eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction. A dilated-eye exam should also be done to check your eyes for any damage or signs of disease, such as glaucoma, cataracts, or age-related macular degeneration.
  3. Eat these healthy foods for your eyes - Fill up on oranges, strawberries, and leafy greens for vitamin C. Add turkey and chicken to your diet for zinc. Eat almonds and peanut butter for vitamin E, and cook up salmon, tuna, or halibut for omega-3s.
  4. Wear sunglasses for eye protection - To protect your eyes from damaging UVB and UVA rays, wear sunglasses with large lenses -- or even wraparound lenses -- that offer 99% to 100% UVA and UVB radiation protection.
  5. Exercise daily to improve vision - Vigorous exercise, such as running, can protect your eyes from the two leading eye problems that occur over time: cataracts and macular degeneration.
  6. Prevent eye infections with contact lenses care - Contact lenses are great for vision correction if you don't like wearing eyeglasses, but it's important to take special care of them to reduce your risk of eye infections.
  7. Treat dry, irritated eyes - To prevent dry eyes, eat more foods with vitamin A (e.g., cantaloupe, carrots, and mangoes), use a humidifier to moisten dry air, and be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes on bright or windy days.
  8. Take a break from the computer to prevent eyestrain - Follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
  9. Check your eyes for signs of other health problems - Blood vessels in your eyes that look stiff, form kinks or loops, or look bronze or gray instead of red, could be a sign of high blood pressure or diabetes, which can harm your eyesight. Blocked blood vessels or inflammation in your eyes may signal autoimmune disease that can cause vision problems, pain, sensitivity to light, and red, itchy eyes.
  10. Protect your eyes to prevent eye injuries - Whether playing sports or doing chores around the house, it's a good idea to protect your eyes to reduce your chance of eye injury.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.