3 Ways To Take Care of Your Eyes In Your 20s
This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my review.
I’ve had glasses since second grade and worn contacts from age 13. Ever since I couldn’t see the blackboard in math class, my annual eye exam has always been a health priority (even for the brief stint I didn’t have health insurance and had to pay out of pocket).
Our vision is something we take for granted until suddenly it starts to fade on us. We’re using our eyes virtually every waking moment–and that’s a lot of stimulation for your muscles. I’m reminded to take myself to my eye doctor every May when my contact prescription runs out, so taking care of my eye health is built into my life — otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see a thing!
But annual eye exams aren’t just for those who need glasses or contacts.
On top of standard visions tests, your eye doctor will also check your pupils, examine your retinas, test for glaucoma, test your visual fields and eye muscles. Last year, a friend of mine began experiencing double vision and was diagnosed with an eye condition called Esotropia. Luckily, it was detected fairly early on and he has been able to work on correcting the issue through months of vision therapy. As someone in his twenties, he hadn’t expected this to happen to him, but it did.
Think About Your Eyes, a national awareness campaign that encourages eye health and annual exams, conducted a survey of Lifetime Fitness members and found that 33% of them weren’t going for an annual eye exam and 24% of those surveyed were more likely to exercise 3+ times per week than have an annual eye exam.
If we’re so keen to take care of our bodies through exercise, healthy eating, and annual check-ups, why do we neglect our eye health? Going the extra mile every now and again will pay off handsomely down the line.
Three ways to take care of your eyes in your 20s:
1. Visit the eye doctor.
If you haven’t been to the eye doctor, now is as good of a time as any to start having annual exams to check your eye health. Make sure you find a doctor in your area that takes your insurance.
Like I mentioned above, visiting the eye doctor isn’t just for those with vision problems–just like going for an annual physical with your primary care doctor isn’t just for those with an illness.
Plus, if you do develop vision problems later in life, you’ll have a medical record of it for your physician to refer back to.
2. Wear sunglasses.
We protect our skin with sunscreen (and if you’re not, you should be!), so why not protect our eyes, too?
Exposure to UV rays can cause vision loss, cataracts, and macular degeneration–all things that lead to blindness. In fact, 3.2 million people go blind every year because of extended UV light exposure. Yikes.
It’s a simple thing to do but wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection can make a world of difference.
3. Eat a diet rich in Vitamins A, C, D, E, zinc, and beta-carotene.
The vitamins and minerals listed above have been proven to aid in eye health, among others like lutein and zeaxanthin. Foods such as spinach, kale, oranges, eggs, nuts, salmon, and carrots can help you round out your diet and fill in nutritional gaps for healthy eyes. Be sure to talk to your doctor for person-specific recommendations!
Like any other part of your body and health, your eyes need extra care and attention too. Neglecting your eye health can cause major problems later in life; why not work to prevent these problems from happening rather than reacting to them later?
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