Tuesday, February 26, 2013

March is Save Your Vision Month

Think about protecting your vision, one of the vital five senses.

Most Americans are health conscious when it comes to choosing foods, watching their calories and exercising, but few think about their eye health.

That?s why the American Optometric Association started Save Your Vision Month way back in 1927. Professional eye care, through regular exams, they say is important at every age.

* Foods. While shopping, think consciously about foods that are rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (fatty acids essential for eye health, also available as supplements), vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc. Such foods include eggs, dark-colored greens, broccoli, corn, peas and brussels sprouts.

* Family history. Be aware of any eye disease that runs in your family, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and others. Learn to recognize their symptoms, but don?t diagnose yourself if you experience any of them, because symptoms can be shared by several eye problems. Some conditions have no symptoms, but they can be diagnosed and treated in their early stages.

* Trauma. An injury from a sharp projectile or a blunt object penetrating an eye is the most common cause of preventable visual loss.

Chemical burns, such as from household cleaners or contact lens cleaners, are common causes eye injuries. Both require profession care.

* Corneal abrasions. They can occur by accident from a fingernail or mascara. A pain reliever can help. Some serious abrasions are caused by contact lenses. See a doctor about how to prevent infection.

* Pink eye. Children are susceptible to conjunctivitis, a viral infection that can spread quickly to others in the family. Get immediate treatment.

* Users of computers, iPads, notebooks, and gaming devices are experiencing more eye strain, blurred vision and dry eye symptoms.

When working at the computer, look away occasionally and focus on something in the distance. Blink frequently to prevent dryness. Take a short break and walk about to give your eyes a rest. Some computer users find that taking a fish oil capsule daily keeps eyes from feeling scratchy and dry.

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