Eye HealthLifestyle Topics
Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts – quit or avoid smoking to help keep your eyes healthy.
Know Your History
Those with a family history of eye disease are at a greater risk for developing eye diseases or conditions themselves.
Water & Contacts Don’t Mix
To help prevent eye infections, contact lenses should be removed before going swimming or in a hot tub.
It's Not OK to Skip a Day
To control glaucoma, take eye drops exactly as prescribed by your ophthalmologist—your sight depends on it.
Give your Eyes a Break
To prevent computer eyestrain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Know Your Eye Care Team
Make sure you are seeing the right eye care provider for your condition or treatment.
Are You Fit at 40?
A baseline eye exam is recommended at age 40, when the signs of disease and change in vision may start to occur.
Everyone of any age and any degree of skin pigmentation is susceptible to UV damage. Children are particularly susceptible to UV damage. Some studies show that people with certain eye diseases such as retinal dystrophy may be at greater risk for UV-related sun damage.
Also people with diseased maculas, such as macular degeneration, may be more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. As a precaution, they should wear sunglasses whenever they go outside.
More than two million Americans have cataract surgery each year. During this procedure, the eye's lens is removed, leaving the eye more vulnerable to UV light. The natural lens is usually replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL). Older intraocular lenses absorb much less UV light than ordinary glass or plastic eyeglass lenses. Manufacturers of IOLs now make most of their products UV-absorbent.
If you have had cataract surgery and your IOL is not the newer UV-absorbent type, be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses and a hat for added protection. However, even if you have a new IOL, wearing sunglasses and a hat gives an extra measure of protection.
Photosensitizing drugs — drugs that make your skin more sensitive to light — can make your eyes more sensitive to light as well. You should discuss precautions with your ophthalmologist if you are taking any of the following drugs and wear UV-absorbent sunglasses and a hat whenever you go outside for as long as you take them:
- Psoralens (used in treating psoriasis)
If you have recently had photodynamic therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you must also be careful to avoid sunlight.
Next Page: Recommended Types of Sunglasses