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1. Find out if you are at higher risk for eye diseases. Be aware of your family’s health history. Do you or any of your family suffer from diabetes or have a history of high blood pressure? Are you over the age of 65? Are you an African-American over the age of 40? Any of these traits increase your risk for sight-threatening eye diseases.
2. Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure. If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. In particular, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and eye strokes .
3. Look for warning signs of changes in your vision. If you start noticing changes in your vision, see your eye doctor immediately. Some trouble signs to look for are double vision , hazy vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Other signs and symptoms of potentially serious eye problems that warrant immediate attention include red eyes , frequent flashes of light, floaters , and eye pain and swelling.
4. Exercise more frequently. According to the AAO, some studies suggest that regular exercise — such as walking — can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
5. Protect your eyes from harmful UV light. When outdoors during daytime, always wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays . This may help reduce your risk of cataracts, pinguecula and other eye problems.
6. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Numerous studies have shown that antioxidants can possibly reduce the risk of cataracts. These antioxidants are obtained from eating a diet containing plentiful amounts of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables.
Studies also have shown that eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration. Also, consider supplementing your diet with eye vitamins to make sure you are getting adequate amounts of the nutrients you need to keep your eyes healthy.