Sports are a great way to excel physically and mentally. Just make sure you're taking care of your eyes when you play. During Healthy Vision Month, the National Eye Institute (NEI) encourages athletes, and parents of athletes, to make eye health a priority.
NEI offers these five important tips for protecting your sight:
- Use protective eyewear. Ninety percent of sports-related eye injuries can be avoided with the use of protective eyewear. This includes wearing safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards made of polycarbonate. Eyewear should sit comfortably on the face, so talk to your or your child's eye care provider about the appropriate type of protective eyewear for the particular sport.
- Wear sunglasses. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase the risk for getting an eye disease like cataract or age-related macular degeneration, so wearing sunglasses outside to protect the eyes from the sun's ultrav
iolet rays is important. To keep eyes healthy, look for sunglasses that block out 99 to 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation. A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection, too!
- Get a dilated eye exam. Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to know if your eyes are healthy and you're seeing your best. Talk to your eye care professional about how often you or your child should have one. If you want to see what your eye care professional sees during a dilated eye exam, check out NEI's eye exam animation!
- Live a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, managing chronic conditions, and not smoking can lower your risk of eye disease.
- Know your family history. Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It's important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease, since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you or your child are at higher risk for developing an eye disease.
These steps can help you keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss and blindness from eye disease.
Help celebrate Healthy Vision Month by encouraging friends and family to make eye health a priority, and sharing this article on social media.
Source: National Eye Institute