"Your eyes are the windows of your face." ~Christopher Walken
Wise words from one of the most impersonated celebrities of all time. While we don't advocate relying on celebrities for your vision insurance needs, Mr. Walken actually has a point here.
A recent study conducted by VSP Vision Care and market research agency YouGov found that most people rate vision as their most important sense. In fact, 84 percent of those surveyed listed vision as most important. The next closest? Hearing, with 7 percent of respondents listing it as the most important sense.
Our vision is a big deal, which is why it is important to protect your eyes, so you can see clearly. Here is a list of 5 vision-saving tips to keep you from going blind.
1. Get vision insurance.
Subtle, right? We're an insurance carrier; what did you expect? Vision insurance is the least expensive of the big three (medical, dental, vision), so there are plenty of affordable options from which to choose. Get covered (preferably through us), and we'll help you get tip #2 scheduled.
2. Schedule your annual eye exam.
A comprehensive eye exam does more than simply tell you how well or poorly your eyes work. The eyes can give clues to a person's overall health. Other health concerns can show symptoms through the eyes. Check out seven health problems eye exams can detect to learn more about the power of your eyes.
Let's back away from the more serious ledge and address the fact that the eye exam's primary purpose is to make sure you can see clearly. Many people aren't aware that they could see better with corrective lenses. Your eye doctor will be able to determine whether or not you need corrective lenses and get you the most appropriate prescription lens strength to keep you from making the squinty-eye face when reading.
3. Strive to maintain overall health.
Want better eyesight? Eat a bunch of carrots, right? Sort of. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens to keep your eyes healthy. Turns out, there is such a thing as eating too many carrots. Check out some side effects of binging on carrots.
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to your eye health. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of diabetes or other chronic conditions. Problems like diabetic eye disease or glaucoma can come as a result of being overweight and increasing the blood pressure within the eye. More eye pressure turns into more eye problems.
Last, but not least, quit smoking. Better yet, if you don't smoke, don't start. Research suggests that smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, optic nerve damage, and blindness. Yikes! Not to mention all the other health risks that come with smoking. So let's avoid this habit, shall we?
4. Wear eye protection.
We all love to find those stylish shades that keep the sun out of our eyes, while making us look and feel like a movie star. Don't just go for looks when purchasing sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. If your sunglasses can keep out both radiation types, they'll do a great job against the paparazzi flashes as well. Don't know what UV-A or UV-B radiation is? No problem, check out this quick article to become a sun genius.
If you work in an environment where anything from bits of dirt to steel beams may potentially fall into your eye, be sure to wear protective eyewear. Make it a habit. Wear them at all times, and encourage those around you to do the same.
5. Keep them clean and give them a rest.
If you wear corrective lenses, be it glasses or contacts, take proper precautions to keep your eyewear clean. Wash your hands when handling your glasses or contacts, and take the time to sanitize contacts in between uses. You don't want to infect your eye with your dirty hands and walk around looking like you've been weeping uncontrollably for a month straight. We address proper eyewear care in our two articles on why glasses are better than contacts and why contacts are better than glasses.
Another way to avoid red, swollen eyes is to get rest. Give yourself time to get an appropriate amount of sleep each night. Try not to stare into the depths of your computer screen for hours on end. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. Your eyes work hard for you. Give them the beauty rest they deserve.
Want to know what 5 things you may be doing to hurt your vision? We have an article on that as well, but you have just learned these 5 tips to keep you from going blind. They sound simple enough. Get vision insurance, so you can visit your eye doctor to get your annual eye exam, an important step in improving your overall health and getting the proper eyewear to avoid eyestrain that'll help you get a great night's rest. It's a beautiful thing when everything comes together.
Remember, EMI Health is the best vision insurance provider (in our humble opinion), and we offer several vision plans for individuals and families in Arizona and Utah. In addition to eye care, we offer individual and family dental plans and Federal Marketplace dental insurance for those in need of dental coverage. Contact us today to learn more by calling 1-800-662-5850 or by visiting www.emihealth.com.
- Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. Risk factors associated with age-related nuclear and cortical cataract. Ophthalmology; 2001; 108(8): 14001408.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General. The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General (Washington, D.C., 2004).