March is National Save Your Vision Month. Follow these five simple tips to help protect your vision.
- Take screen breaks. Many of us spend hours each day looking at our phones, computers or televisions. The American Optometric Association recommends following the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Wear sun protective gear. When you are outside, protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Bright light from the sun can lead to cataracts and increase your risk of macular degeneration. Wear a hat and 100% UV blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is a key component of eye health. Dehydration can lead to blurred vision and headaches. Eye lubrication can decrease, causing eyestrain and dry eyes. In general, women should aim to drink 11.5 cups of water per day, and men should drink 15.5 cups of water per day. Consult your doctor to find out your own hydration goals.
- Get your exercise. Walking and resistance training have many health benefits, including increased eye health. Daily movement reduces eye pressure which can lower your risk of glaucoma. Walking and other exercise can reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and age-related cataracts.
- Visit your eye doctor regularly. Visit your eye doctor annually to ensure there are no changes to your vision. Your eye doctors can provide tests to make sure you have the right prescription for your vision. They can also screen for diseases that can often go unnoticed in early stages, such as glaucoma.