7 Tips for looking after your eyes

Protecting your eyesight is one of the most important things you can do to help maintain your quality of life.

1. Find out if you are at higher risk for eye diseases. Be aware of your family's health history. Do you or any of your family suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure? Does anybody in your family suffer from Glaucoma or Macular degeneration. There is a higher risk of Glaucoma in Afro Caribbean’s; people who are very short sighted are at higher risk of retinal detachments.

2. Look for warning signs of changes in your vision Signs to look for are double vision, hazy vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Other symptoms that warrant immediate attention include red eyes, frequent flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain and swelling.

3. Exercise more frequently.  Regular exercise — such as brisk walking — can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.

4. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Antioxidants can reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. These antioxidants are obtained from eating a diet containing plentiful amounts of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables. 

5. Don't smoke. When it comes to eye health, people who smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye problems.

6.Wear safety eye protection. Be sure to wear safety glasses when working with tools or participating in active sports to help prevent eye injuries.

7. Protect your eyes from harmful UV light. When outdoors during daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, pinguecula and other eye problems.

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Regular eye examinations.  A comprehensive eye examination, including dilating your pupils, can determine your risk for major eye diseases .An eye exam also can ensure that your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is up to date. 

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