For many people, summer brings with it the promise of fun in the sun through a host of sports and activities. Many people can’t wait to get in the water and surf all day from sunup to sundown; others hop on their bikes and trek along peaceful mountain roads. But no matter the activity – and it certainly is a positive to stay active – people who are out in the blinding light all day would do well to consider the effect this has on their eyes.
No one should take their eye health for granted, especially fans of outdoor sports. Increased and extensive UV exposure can lead to cataracts and – even worse – macular degeneration. But there is no reason for outdoor enthusiasts to panic because there are many simple tips people can follow in order to promote better eye health.
Maintain a healthy diet
There is a direct correlation between the foods we eat and good vision. That’s because certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 acids, zinc and lutein have been proven to stave off certain vision problems – such as the aforementioned macular degeneration and cataracts – that are so often the result of the aging process. Regularly eating foods that contain these nutrients is vital to maintaining proper eye health.
These foods include:
- Green vegetables
- Oily fish such as tuna, white fish or salmon
- Nuts and beans
- Non-meat proteins such as eggs
- Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, etc.
Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet also helps to prevent the onset of certain health problems, like type 2 diabetes. And unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy is caused by diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness among adults.
This tip may seem on the surface to be more style than substance, but the simple fact is that wearing sunglasses promotes good vision. Those who spend much time in the sun are at high risk to develop eyesight problems down the line due to ultraviolet rays. The right sunglasses block these harmful UV rays and allow the user to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities for as long s they like.
Some features to look for in safe sunglasses include:
- Wraparound lenses (to protect eyes from the side)
- Blockage of 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
Note: Those who wear contacts have the option of lenses that offer UV exposure.
Use safety eyewear
While sunglasses are great for cyclists and surfers, those fans of more “full contact” outdoor sports, such as football or street hockey, should consider using protective eyewear. All it takes is one errant elbow or flying puck to the eye to do serious damage.
Visit the eye doctor
Just like with a regular doctor or dentist, it is important to schedule regular visits with the eye doctor. Even those who don’t spend much time outdoors are at risk of developing eyesight issues due to the aging process. And some of these issues such as glaucoma don’t have symptoms. That means it is possible to suffer from the disease without even knowing it. The only way to truly be sure is to visit an eye professional.
These are some tips for those active, outdoorsy types to help maintain good vision. But in reality this list can apply to anyone looking to keep his or her eyes healthy over the course of a lifetime. That’s because anyone can implement these tips in their daily routine with a limited change to their overall lifestyle.
John Sideman is a freelance writer residing in Texas. The majority of his writing is geared toward optical and sports eyewear products offered by www.adseyewear.com.