What to watch for: Signs your vision may be changing
Outdated prescriptions, the sun’s rays, diet and stress are all factors that can negatively affect your vision.
Q: What are some big indicators that someone’s vision might be changing?
A: When a person is going throughout each day without a correct prescription they may experience headaches, fatigue and eye strain while trying to do visual activities for a prolonged period of time, such as being on the computer, reading and sometimes driving.
Q: Whats the best UV protection to consider for eyes in the summertime?
A: Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. Using proper UV protection when outdoors can help ensure many years of good vision. Using polarized sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB blocking lenses block all wavelengths up to 400 nanometers. If these ultraviolet lights come in contact with the eye for too long, they can cause irreversible damage such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Using 100 percent UVA and UVB blocking polarized sunglasses can eliminate the risk of these dangerous wavelengths interfering with the health of ones eyes. Also, it is important to note that wrap-around sunglasses are good protection because the chance of stray UV light interfering with vision is eliminated.
Q: How can your diet affect your vision?
A: The phrase you are what you eat also applies to ocular health. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, is important for the eyes because they combat free radicals caused by ultraviolet light. A diet high in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3 fish oils, have been shown to improve ocular health.
UV and HEV levels are greater when the sun is high in the sky, typically from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Q: What kind of long-term effects can stress have on vision?
A: Stressors in life can cause a person to have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Along with other systemic diseases, hypertension can manifest in the retina and can ultimately lead to blindness if not properly treated. The damage is caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels and not allowing enough blood to flow through to the retina. Having yearly exams with an eye care provider will monitor your ocular health, and the doctor can evaluate your eyes for signs of systemic diseases.
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