Maintaining your eye health takes a lifelong commitment. From prenatal care through childhood and well into adulthood, here is a guide to keeping your eyes healthy as you move through life:
Mothers can help promote the eyesight of their children before they are even born. Expectant mothers should eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes and carrots are great sources of vitamin A, and mothers can take a prenatal supplemental vitamin if needed. Sunlight during pregnancy is also extremely beneficial, but be sure to apply proper sun protection.
Babies & Toddlers
Babies should first visit the optometrist around six months of age. Although most babies will have no vision problems, but there are some circumstances that make the risk of developing complications more likely. Risk factors may include premature birth, developmental delays, and a family history of eye disease. If any of these apply, you should schedule an earlier visit. Your optometrist can assess the risk factors and determine if more observant treatment is needed.
Children should eat a healthy diet in order to maintain eye health. Vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and zinc all factor into eye health. Therefore, children should be encouraged to eat food like fish, almonds, leafy greens, citrus fruit, legumes, and eggs.
It is important to promote a healthy lifestyle even in children. Sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles can lead to the development of diabetes and heart disease, both which can have very negative effects on optical health. Therefore, children should be encouraged to be physically active and form habits that will stick with them well into adulthood.
Children should visit the optometrist every two years. If your child complains of eye strain, headaches, or has difficulty reading or seeking the blackboard in class, it is possible that they may require corrective eyeglasses.
Adults should visit the optometrist every two years for an eye exam. Even if you previously had perfect vision, your eyes can worsen over time. An eye exam can determine if glasses are needed. You should be sure to maintain a healthy diet and keep up with physical activity to protect your eye health and ward off diseases that can negatively affect your eyes.
Adults may fall into several at-risk categories to develop eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts. These at-risk groups include a family history of eye disease, medication that may cause eye-related side effects, and medical issues like high blood pressure. If you fall into any of these categories, you require more frequent exams.
Follow these recommendations and visit your optometrist to protect your eye health no matter your age.