Eyesight is arguably the most important of all human senses. It is through our eyes that we see the ones we love, the breathtaking art of Picasso, and the beautiful wonders of the world. In order to help preserve your eyesight, Ottawa optometrists recommend avoiding the following harmful things:

Poor Diet

If you eat a poor diet, you’ll be lacking in the nutrients required to keep your eyes healthy and your vision strong. Vitamin A deficiency can cause the irritation of dry eye and blurry vision or even macular degeneration. Vitamins A, B, C, E, and zinc are all needed for eye health. Liver and tuna fish are great sources for vitamin A, as is sweet potato. Pumpkins and carrots are also chock full of the important vitamin. If don’t get enough from your diet, consider taking vitamin supplements.


Smoking has countless negative effects on the human body, but it can also harm your eyesight. Smoking increase the risk of cataracts and retinal diseases, and can even lead to vision loss. Smoking affects circulation, which can prevent oxygen and nutrients from reaching your eyes and maintaining the health of your optic systems. If you needed motivation to quit smoking, the harm the habit can cause your eyes should be reason enough.


Accidents and injuries can cause physical damage to the eyes which can affect vision or even cause blindness or, in severe cases, eye loss. You can’t plan for accidents, but you can make sure to avoid bad damage by practicing good safety habits. Always wear goggles when working in hazardous conditions to prevent debris from entering your eye or chemicals from harming your vision. Protect your eyes with goggles or a helmet while playing sports where the eyes may be at risk, like ice hockey.

Sun Exposure

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause cellular damage, which affects your sensitive retinas. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration. In order to protect your eyes, do not stare directly at the sun, make sure to wear sunglasses at all times outdoors (even in the winter) with 100% UV protection. Avoid prolonged periods in direct sunlight if possible.

Medical Conditions & Illness

Some vision problems develop as a result of medical conditions or illness. For example, diabetes may lead to diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retina which is the leading cause of blindness among middle-aged Americans. Protect your eyes by practicing good health habits, including regular exercise, to avoid developing diseases which may threaten your eyesight.

For more information about how to protect your eyesight and avoid behaviours which may harm your vision, schedule a visit with your Ottawa optometrist or ophthalmologist.