Don't take your eyes for granted. Take these easy steps to keep your peepers healthy.
1. Eat Well
Good eye health starts with the food on your plate. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E might help ward off age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. To get them, fill your plate with:
Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
Eggs, nuts, beans, and other nonmeat protein sources
Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
A well-balanced diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight. That lowers your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.
2. Quit Smoking
It makes you more likely to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems. If you've tried to kick the habit before only to start again, keep at it. The more times you try to quit, the more likely you are to succeed. Ask your doctor for help.
3. Wear Sunglasses
The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much UV exposure boosts your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. Choose a pair that blocks 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
4. Use Safety Eyewear
If you use hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles.
Sports like hockey, cricket, and squash can also lead to eye injury. Wear eye protection. Helmets with protective face masks or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses will shield your eyes.
5. Look Away From the Computer Screen
Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause:
Eyestrain and Blurry vision
Trouble focusing at a distance
Neck, back, and shoulder pain
To protect your eyes:
Move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor. That lets you look slightly down at the screen.
Choose a comfortable, supportive chair. Position it so that your feet are flat on the floor.
Rest your eyes every 20 minutes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up at least every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break.
6. Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly
Everyone needs a regular eye exam, even young children. It helps protect your sight and lets you see your best.
This post originally appeared on WebMD.