Preventive Measures for Retinal Health: Your Best Defense Against Vision Loss
Maintaining good retinal health and protecting your vision are essential for overall health and well-being. Keeping your retina healthy and safeguarding your eyesight is possible with some preventive measures described in this article.
What is the Retina?
The retina is the light-sensitive, thin layer of tissue at the back of the eyeball. When visual images enter the eye’s lens, the retina converts the images to electrical signals, sending them to the brain via the optic nerve, thus allowing vision to occur.
Preventative Measures for Retinal Health
You can take several preventative measures to promote retinal health and good vision.
Exercise improves blood flow, which is very beneficial for retinal health. Regular exercise also helps stave off weight gain, lending itself to preventing obesity and other health conditions that can impact retinal health, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends one of the following three exercise routine scenarios:
- At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity
- 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity
- A combination of both moderate and vigorous aerobic activity, preferably spread throughout the week
Eat a Healthy Diet
It may be surprising, but eating right is one of the best defenses for maintaining retinal health. Eat a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support eye health, including:
- A variety of bright-colored fruits and vegetables
- Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids in wild-caught cold-water fish like salmon and tuna
- Antioxidants, from leafy greens, red berries, green tea, and more
- Vitamins A, C, and E, from foods such as nuts, orange vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, and wheat germ oil
Limit Screen Time
There are some concerns about the potential long-term impact of blue light emanating from digital screens on retinal cells, however, more research is needed to fully understand these effects. Nevertheless, prolonged exposure to digital screens can cause other issues with vision, including eye strain and fatigue. To protect your vision from the potentially harmful effects of digital screens, follow the 20-20-20 rule. This rule means that when you are on the computer, phone, or tablet, you should take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away.
Manage Health Conditions
There are several health conditions that increase your risk of retinal disease and vision loss, these include:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- High cholesterol
Managing the above conditions can help lower the risk of severe eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and AMD. This means following lifestyle recommendations for diet and exercise to reduce the risk of these disorders, having regular healthcare screenings, and reporting symptoms as soon as they are noticed to enable early intervention.
If you have been diagnosed with a disease that threatens your vision health, such as diabetes, managing the condition is crucial. Taking care of your condition means maintaining normal blood sugar levels, a healthy weight, and taking medications as prescribed. If left untreated, conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can increase the risk of retinopathy and vision loss.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams with a retina specialist can result in early detection of severe eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy. Early intervention can significantly reduce the risk of vision loss. Contact The Retina Eye Center today in Augusta, GA or Aiken, SC, to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.