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Keep your vision healthy

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Photo: Deagreez/iStockphoto

Imagine for a moment that you’ve lost your ability to see, or that your sight has been impaired.

It’s a scary thought! However, you can take simple steps – starting today – to help keep your vision healthy, the National Eye Institute says. Here are a few:
Get a comprehensive eye exam. Think your vision is just fine? A dilated eye exam is the only way to know for sure. Some eye diseases have no warning signs. By dilating your pupil, an eye care professional can see the back of the eye and check for signs of damage or disease.
Wear protective eyewear. If you’re on a jobsite, mowing your lawn or relaxing at the beach, it’s important to wear protective eyewear, whether that’s safety glasses or sunglasses. Make sure your sunglasses block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation.
Follow an eye-healthy diet. The NEI says eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables (particularly leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens) can help keep your eyesight healthy. And research has shown that eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon, tuna and halibut, can benefit eye health.
Kick the nicotine habit. Add “eye health” to your list of reasons to quit smoking. “Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, and cataract and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness,” the NEI says.
Give your eyes a break. Do you stare at a computer monitor or smartphone for long periods? To help prevent eyestrain, practice the “20-20-20 rule”: Every 20 minutes, look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

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