Your eyes play a big role in everything you do, at work or school, at home and even while you’re out socializing or running errands. Keeping your eyes healthy isn’t difficult, but it does take a little planning. If you have vision insurance, be sure you’re taking advantage of your benefits with regular exams and vision tests.
Even without vision insurance, there are plenty of thing you can – and should – do to make sure your eyes stay healthy:
- Have routine eye exams, ideally every year. Seeing your optometrist for a routine vision test and eye exam is the best way to check for undiagnosed eye diseases, some of which can occur without causing any symptoms before permanent vision loss occurs. Regular optometrist visits can also identify vision problems that may be causing other symptoms, like headaches or dry, burning eyes, and correct them with contacts or glasses. In addition to your vision test, your optometrist can also provide you with other tips for maintaining healthy eyes and good vision during your visit.
- Eat a healthy diet. Be sure to include foods high in beta carotene, like carrots and other red and orange vegetables, as well as leafy green vegetables. Fatty fish contain DHA, essential for maintaining health of the retina, the light-sensitive structure located at the back of your eye.
- Stay active and maintain a healthy weight. Conditions like diabetes and heart disease, more common among people who are overweight or sedentary, are also associated with increased risk for eye diseases that can cause permanent vision loss.
- Wear your prescribed lenses as directed. Don’t give in to the temptation to leave your glasses behind or wear contacts longer than recommended, both of which can have serious health consequences. Have your prescription evaluated annually to make sure it’s still a “good fit” for your needs.
- Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports or when engaging in work-related activities that could result in eye damage. Always wear sunglasses with UV protection when you’re out in the sun.
With or without insurance, you need regular vision care.
Having vision insurance is great, but not having it shouldn’t prevent you from seeing your optometrist or ophthalmologist for regular, routine eye exams. If you think you can save a few dollars by not seeing your eye doctor regularly, just think about the cost you could pay if you wind up with a serious eye disease and permanent vision loss. Many nationwide eye care chains offer affordable “subscriptions” that include regular exams. Take some time to explore your options so you can enjoy a lifetime of good vision.