From the Parish Nurse
March is “Save Your Eyesight” month. We often take for granted our health when all is going well. Then, something happens and we wish we had done things differently. As we age, our eyes frequently become less able to focus, but we can still function with glasses and adaptive devices. Wouldn’t it be a shame to lose your vision just because you weren’t careful with your eyes?
The National Eye Institute, NEI, has ten recommendations for us to keep our eyes as healthy as possible. First, have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The Dr. can see changes in your eye and detect problems with eye disease early. You should have an eye exam every year, and you should schedule an exam if you notice changes or problems. Always bring sunglasses or have someone drive you home after having dilation. It takes my eyes about 5 hours to return to normal, it is difficult to see well till then.
The second tip is to know your family’s eye health history. Many eye conditions run in families (glaucoma, etc.) and early monitoring and detection can hold off loss of sight.
Third, the NEI (National Eye Institute) recommends a diet filled with fruits and vegetables, with an emphasis on dark leafy greens (such as spinach), and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna).
The fourth tip is to maintain a healthy weight. The fifth is to wear protective eyewear when working with something that might spatter into your eye (paint, grease). The sixth is to quit or never start smoking.
Seventh, wear sunglasses. UV-A and UV-B radiation can damage your eyes.
The eighth tip is to not continually strain your eyes. The NEI recommends the 20-20-20 rule, “Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.”
And finally, tips nine and ten are to always wash your hands well before touching your eye, clean contacts per instruction and practice work place eye safety.
All 10 of these tips are easy to do, and could save your sight! I will have information out in Fellowship Hall concerning different eye diseases (Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration). Call me with any questions. (315-789-9039)
God Bless, Beth