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Our eyes are among the most important organs in our body, but often one of the least prioritized when it comes to our overall health and well-being. Over 3.3 million people in the United States alone have visual problems, and those numbers are expected to rise in the next 30 years. Implementing changes to eye care can keep your eyes healthy for a longer period of time, and keep age-related vision impairments at a minimum. Here are 5 tips for eye health.
1. Get Your Eyes Checked Regularly
The importance of getting your eyes checked out by an opthalmologist is often overlooked while other medical expenses such as maintenance medication and general health issues take precedence in terms of expenses. Including annual eye checkups as part of your health maintenance not only keep your eyes healthy, it prevents future, more costly expenses in maintenance and possibly surgery. As soon as children are able to read, take them for an eye checkup. Adults ages 40 and older should be getting an eye exam annually, and at least every 2 to 3 years after confirming that they still have 20/20 vision.
2. Manage Any Existing Conditions
Diseases that affect the blood stream, particularly diabetes and hypertension, can affect eyesight and lead to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, and loss of vision is one of the most serious complications for repeated attacks of hypertensive episodes.  Proper medical management, as well as a healthy diet and regular exercise, can save you from complications that diseases
3. Dark Leafy Greens Over Carrots
Contrary to popular belief, carrots don’t help much in improving eyesight. The reason carrots may still be linked to vision is because of its Vitamin A content, a nutrient that’s good for connective tissues; and your eyes have plenty. However, recent studies have suggested that lutein and zeaxanthin found in kale have a higher chance of retaining eyesight in later years if consumed at a cup per day.  These two nutrients, along with Vitamin C, protect against harmful chemicals from the environment that directly affect your eyes. Other foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are collard greens, spinach, and broccoli. 
4. Wear The Right Protective Eyewear
We all know that we should wear UV resistant sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, but a recent study showed that it’s not just the light in front of us that we need protection from; we also need UV protection for the light bouncing towards your eyes from behind you.
Hats with a wide brim or sunglasses that have lenses with high base curves and a high wrap frame work best for protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.  These glasses are usually thick and curved, while the frame wraps comfortably around your face to prevent light from coming in from behind the glasses.
Be sure to replace damaged lenses, as well as your contact lens cases regularly. Contact lens cases need to be replaced every 2-3 months to prevent bacteria build up inside the chamber.
5. Wear Safety Gear For Sports Or Work
Always use the appropriate, quality assured helmet for any contact sports you might engage in. Repeated trauma to your head, even if it’s indirect trauma, affect the connective tissues that connect the parts of your eyes together. Wearing padded, protective gear around your body while you engage in these sports will minimize shock and impact that can affect your eyes as well. Also – very important – always use eye protection when using tools, especially cutting tools, chisels, drills and so on; and while handling liquids which may be hazardous.
See Also: Top 10 Herbs For The Eyes
 Diabetic Retinopathy.National Eye Institute. https://www.nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy
 Lutein May Decrease Your Risk of Macular Degeneration. American Macular Degeneration Foundation. http://www.macular.org/lutein
 Good Foods for Eye Health. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/nutrition-world-3/foods-eye-health
 Anti-reflective coatings reflect ultraviolet radiation. Pacific University College of Optometry. http://commons.pacificu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=coofac
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