Yes, you read that right. Vision loss can actually be preventable.
Around this time every year, I start noticing that the sun is coming up earlier and earlier…
Which is great! It means that the warmth of summer is getting closer and closer. And I’m already able to spend more time outdoors.
But it also means something else…
For all the pleasure of that the beautiful weather brings, it also means that your eyes are bombarded more and more hours each day by light, whether it’s from the sun or artificial indoor lighting.
That’s why I consider summer to be the most dangerous season for your eyes…
And when you have to do all you can to protect them.
In my opinion, the biggest threat is that we often look past the potential problems that this increased exposure presents…
Because cataracts, macular degeneration, and eyestrain don’t happen overnight – they’re a gradual process that comes from continually not taking the appropriate measures to protect your eyes.
But today that all changes – I’m going to give you a few easy techniques to protect your eyes during the summer months when they’re at their most vulnerable.
And if you’ve already bought into the myth that vision loss is a direct result of getting older, I hope that what I have to share with you today changes your mind, because…
Your Vision Loss Is Entirely Preventable
Right now, I’m writing this article and I can feel my eyes start to go blurry every few minutes…
That’s right. Even though I’m a health expert, it doesn’t mean I’m invincible to eyestrain. And spending a few hours in front of the computer does just that – it gives me the same vision problems as it does for you.
But staring at a monitor is only one cause of vision issues (and one that I’ll show you how to fix a little bit later)…
There are plenty of others, such as:
- Excessive exposure to ultraviolet light
- Elevated blood sugar levels
- Not wearing sunglasses
- Eating the WRONG foods
- Having unhealthy lighting in your home
The underlying thread between these vision loss causes is that they’re all PREVENTABLE.
When you take active steps to protect your eyes, you’ll also be investing in your future vision as well…
And while you might not notice the benefits today, avoiding vision issues as you get older is certainly worth the little bit of effort it takes.
Outdoor Eyesight Protection Tips
With summer fast approaching, you’ll need to pay more attention to ultraviolet light, as this is the primary cause of cataracts.
Obviously, your first line of defense is a pair of quality sunglasses. When you’re out shopping for a new pair, be sure to look for ones that have these features:
- Block 100% of ultraviolet rays – A good pair of sunglasses will be labeled with the percentage of UVs that they block and there’s really no reason to choose anything less than 100%. If you wear contacts, there are models that also have 100% UV protection.
- The more coverage, the better – You might want smaller lenses for a more stylish look, but the truth is that wraparound sunglasses and other models that provide a larger coverage area will offer stronger protection.
- Polarized, mirror coated, and anti-reflective – All three of these features reduce glare and the amount of light that reaches your eyes. As such, they’re the best options out there.
For a step up in sunglass styles, you can opt for photochromic lenses, which adjust their darkness depending on the current level of UV.
Another good trick is to keep an eye on the clock. At certain times of day, the sun’s UVs are stronger, so choosing to stay inside during these hours will go a long way towards giving you as low exposure as possible.
In most areas of the U.S., the sun shines its brightest between 10am and 2pm.
And if you don’t like sunglasses, yet another option to shield your eyes is to wear a wide-brimmed hat while you’re outside.
Now, you’ll obviously be at the highest risk when you’re outside this summer, but that doesn’t mean you should let down your eye protection guard the second you walk inside…
And I strongly recommend following…
The 20-20-20 Vision Rule
If you’re anything like me, then you probably spend more time than you should with your eyes glued to a computer or phone screen.
And while most people think it’s the bright light and high resolution that are dangerous, it’s actually something else that’s a bigger threat…
When we’re looking at a digital screen, the tendency is to focus at the same angle and distance for longer periods of time. What that does is lock your eyes into a fixed position, which can speed up your vision deterioration.
Fortunately, there’s a general rule for your time spent online or looking at a screen…
It’s called the 20-20-20 rule.
What you want to do is set a timer for 20 minutes any time you think you’ll be at a screen for an extended period. Now when the timer goes off, you’ll need to take a 20 second break and focus your eyes on something that’s about 20 feet away.
This gives your eyes the opportunity to unlock out of their fixed position and reset before taking another round…
And if you follow the 20-20-20 rule, you’ll find that when you do stop using your computer or phone, you won’t have that same groggy, blurry feeling similar to when you walk out of a movie theater.
Do You See What You’re Eating?
Now, this last protection tip might be the one you find most difficult to change.
In fact, many people don’t even realize that it’s causing eyesight damage…
But it’s been proven that what you eat plays a direct role in the health of your eyes.
I’m sure you’ve heard that if you eat enough carrots, your vision will improve, but the other side of the coin is just as relevant – if you eat enough of the WRONG food, it will certainly affect how your eyes process images.
So, what are the wrong foods?
The first offender we’ll talk about is salty foods like snacks and processed meats.
Many food manufacturers add tons of salt to trigger certain taste profiles and unfortunately, it works. As humans, we like salty foods and high doses of sodium lead to a “craveability” that’s a hallmark of cheap processed meats, potato chips, and other junk food.
All that extra salt can make your eyes puffy or swollen, and it can raise your blood pressure, which puts additional strain on the blood vessels in your eyes.
And if salt is bad, then sugar is even worse for your eyes.
A recent study concluded that those with a higher sugar intake were at a clear risk for macular degeneration, a condition that’s most commonly associated with vision loss as you grow older.
In fact, the same study said that 20% of people with the condition could have AVOIDED macular degeneration simply by reducing the amount of sugar and high glycemic index foods they ate.
Whether you’re going on a beach vacation, hiking a mountain, or just taking it easy at home this summer, I advise you to keep a close watch on your eye health.
Because the vision loss prevention steps you take today will surely help you in the future…
And keeping your vision intact as you grow older is certainly a worthwhile goal.