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10 Tips for Healthy Eyes

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8. Eat Leafy Greens, Dark Berries and Cold-Water Fish
Eating carrots to improve our vision is an old wives’ tale, says Dr. Lowe. (Though they can’t hurt—you just have to eat a whole lot of them to reap any benefits.) But don’t discount the power of other fruits and veggies. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and Brussels sprouts, as well as dark berries, like blueberries and blackberries, are rich in lutein, a type of carotenoid that protects against macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. Foods rich in omega-3s, like walnuts and fresh cold-water fish, have been found to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels of the eye.

9. Protect Your Eyes as You Would Protect Your Skin
Every time you lather on sunscreen, think about shielding your eyes from the sun as well. A lifetime of UV light exposure can contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration, so always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. And since, by the time you hit age 18, you’ve already received 80 percent of the UV light that you’ll be exposed to in a lifetime, it’s crucial to protect your children’s eyes as well.

10. Travel Smart
“Airplane air quality tends to be drier and more irritating to the eye, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer,” says Dr. Lowe. Using rewetting or lubricating drops in your eyes before boarding (keep the bottle handy during the flight too) is a smart way to prevent irritation caused by dry eyes. Bring along an extra pair of lenses and your glasses, just in case. And while you’re on vacation, it’s never a good idea to expose contact lenses to pool or hot tub water, which is full of irritating chemicals and bacteria that can cause infections.

 

Originally published on November 1, 2012

 

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