It's easy to remember that on a daily basis you need to brush your teeth, take a shower, exercise, and eat healthy. Such habits are groomed into you from an early age. However, one important part of your body that often gets neglected without you even realizing it is your eyes. How often do you take care of your vision? Do you have vision insurance, so that you can see an eye doctor on a regular basis? For many people, the answer to the latter question is no. But even if you don't have vision coverage, there are still ways to take care of your eyes. The following list outlines habits that are hurting your vision.
- Not getting enough sleep. Dry eyes, twitching, blurry vision, and pain are just a few of the reasons you need to get more sleep. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can impair how well you process detailed visual information.
- Staring at your smartphone for long stretches. Not only does this cause tremendous eyestrain, but it can also make you dizzy and nauseated. Give your eyes a rest every 20 minutes, and make the text bigger so your eyes aren't working overtime to try to read small print.
- Not wearing your glasses or sunglasses. When you don't wear either, you will be squinting excessively, which leads to eyestrain and overall discomfort. Plus, not wearing sunglasses when you're spending long hours in the sun can lead to eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Sleeping with your contacts in. Nearly one million Americans visit the eye doctor each year with infections related to wearing contacts. When you sleep with your contacts in, you're allowing bacteria from the lens to have unwarranted access to your whole eye, which not only causes infections, but also serious eye damage.
- Not regularly seeing your eye doctor. Even if you think you have better vision than most people, you still need to regularly see an eye doctor. If you don't, you risk signs and symptoms related to eye disease going undetected. The sooner you catch something, the better. Also, your vision can get worse over time simply because of age. Why put off correcting your vision?
Habits that will keep your vision in healthy shape
Now that you're aware of habits that aren't so great for your eyes, let's take a look at the habits that are going to help your vision. Eye care is so important if you want your eyesight to last your whole life, so start taking better care of your eyes today by following this list:
- Eat a balanced diet. Vitamin C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zinc are all nutrients that can help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Plus, eating healthy lowers your odds of getting type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
- Don't smoke/quit smoking. If you're not a smoker, stay that way--smoking is bad for the entire body. If you do smoke, kick the habit. It increases your chance of getting cataracts and macular degeneration, and it can damage your optic nerve.
- Wear protective goggles. Any time you're going to be doing something that involves objects or materials potentially flying into your face, wear safety goggles. Yes, that includes sports like lacrosse, hockey, or racquetball.
- Don't stare at extremely bright objects. While it's pretty obvious for most people, it's still a good reminder not to stare or even look directly at the sun. Laser pointers also fall into this category. Even if you look with sunglasses, you can damage your vision.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. If you know you're going to be staring at your computer screen all day, at least follow this rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look 20 feet into the distance. This will remind you to blink your eyes and give your vision a few seconds of rest.
Tips for finding a good eye doctor
One of the most important things you should do for your eyes that isn't included in that list is search for vision insurance plans, find one that fits your needs, and go to an eye doctor. There are dozens of eye insurance companies that can provide you with the coverage you need to see a good optometrist. Most healthy adults should get a comprehensive dilated-eye exam every two to three years. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, you need to see an eye doctor every year. Once you reach your 60s, you should also be going to an optometrist yearly.
If you're not sure how to find a really good eye doctor, and one you know you'll be comfortable with, follow these simple tips:
- Talk to your doctor and see who he or she recommends.
- Ask your family and friends if they have someone they like.
- Go online and see what the professional organizations have to say.
- Make a few appointments with different eye doctors, so you can meet them in person and talk to them about your specific needs.
- Pick one of them and evaluate your experience afterward.
Once you've found an optometrist you can trust, you can rest easy knowing your eyes will be taken care of every time you have an appointment. But remember, daily eye care is in your hands and isn't anyone else's responsibility, so make the effort to start taking better care of your eyes today.
Contact EMI Health today if you're interested in keeping your eyes healthy.
EMI Health is one of the best vision insurance providers you'll find. We offer several vision plans that have benefits for both individuals and families. In addition to eye care, we provide 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.