Screen Shot 2012 05 21 At 12.04.59 PmProtecting your eyesight is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your quality of life. These eight tips will help you safeguard your precious gift of sight:

  1. Know your risk for eye problems. Do you or any of your family suffer from diabetes or have a history of high blood pressure? Are you obese or a smoker? These traits increase your risk for sight-threatening eye diseases.
  2. Monitor your vision. Trouble signs to look for include hazy vision, reduced color vision, and glare or difficulty seeing clearly when driving at night. These symptoms could indicate the beginning of cataracts.
  3. Exercise frequently. Studies suggest that regular exercise such as walking can reduce the risk of macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
  4. Protect your eyes from UV. Wear sunglasses outdoors to shield your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. This may help reduce your risk of cataracts and other eye damage.
  5. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables can lower your risk of age-related eye diseases like macular degeneration. Also, consider supplementing your diet with eye vitamins to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need to keep your eyes healthy.
  6. Don’t smoke. Smokers are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  7. Wear safety eyewear when playing sports or working with tools around the house. Most sight-threatening eye injuries can be prevented with the proper eyewear.
  8. Have routine eye exams. Along with a healthy lifestyle, having a comprehensive eye exam annually is the best way to keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime of good vision.