As the marketing agency for our long-time clients Alcon, we wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t take the time to encourage everyone to prioritize their eye health this month.
Although women are at higher risk for eye disease, only three in four women have had an eye exam in the last two years. This month, we encourage all women (and men!) to put their eye health first—starting with a comprehensive eye exam.
Most women understand the importance of visiting their primary care physician regularly to maintain their health, but they still tend to neglect one of their most important organs—their eyes. In fact, one in four women has not had an eye exam in the last two years.
Eye care is especially important for women because they are more likely than men to suffer from eye-related diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Luckily, there are a few ways women can better maintain eye health for the future:
1. Have comprehensive eye exams. This sounds fairly obvious, but many women think that if they aren’t having vision issues, there’s no need to go to a doctor. However, visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is really the only way to be sure that you don’t have vision problems. Often people don’t realize how much better they could see with corrective glasses or contact lenses. More importantly, a dilated eye exam is the only way to detect many eye diseases in their early stages.
2. Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Not only does a healthy weight lower your odds of disease, but foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E can help keep age-related vision problems at bay. Fill your plate with green leafy vegetables, oily fish, citrus fruits, beans and other nonmeat protein sources.
3. Wear sunglasses. Shades that block99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays can help protect your eyes from the rays. Too much UV exposure increases your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.
4. Limit digital screen time. Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause eyestrain, dry eyes and trouble focusing at a distance. If you spend a lot of time at the computer, try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
5. Quit smoking. Smoking can cause damage to your optic nerve, among other health issues.