Vision health: much more than meets the eye

Wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes

The number of people losing their vision is growing, yet experts say much of this vision loss could be prevented.

Good vision is easy to take for granted. That is, until things start to look a little fuzzy. Taking care of your eyes as part of your normal healthcare will help you see well for years to come. This means keeping up good health habits and getting regular eye exams to protect your vision.

The World Health Organization reports that about 85 percent of poor vision and 75 percent of visual impairment in the world could be prevented or cured. In fact, eye health is second only to dental health as the greatest healthcare need in the United States that's not being addressed, according to National Eye Institute.

Five easy ways to protect your eyes

Most eye problems can be prevented. So it's important to keep your vision nice and clear with these key steps:

  1. Buy good sunglasses and wear them year-round to block the sun's damaging rays.
  2. Wear protective glasses or goggles when doing anything that could get harmful specks or fumes in your eyes. Be sure to put them on during sports like tennis and baseball.
  3. If you smoke, quit. Smoking speeds up the growth of cataracts and other serious eye problems.
  4. Don't make your eyes work too hard when you're on the computer or watching TV. Get rid of glare, blink often, and give your eyes a rest every 20 minutes.
  5. Eat your vegetables and don't forget the antioxidant-rich green leafy ones. A good diet will give you the things you need to protect your eyes and your health.

You want to stay healthy all through your life. Good eye care is part of normal healthcare, as important as brushing your teeth.

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