There are several components that make up your eye. Together they work to create vision. When we talk about healthy vision, we are talking about how we keep these components functioning together in a way that not only enhances your everyday vision but also preserves the well being of your eyes.
Healthy vision isn’t just a slogan - it’s a way of life. Having and maintaining healthy vision means taking into consideration how your lifestyle habits affect what you see today and into tomorrow.
How Do Healthy Eyes Work?
We actually “see” with our brains. Our eyes simply collect visual information and send it to the brain via this complex process:
Light Passes Through the Cornea: The cornea is a clear, dome-shaped surface over the front of your eye. When light enters into the cornea, it is bent - or refracted into the pupil.
Light Enters the Eye: Your pupil controls the amount of light that enters the eye. The smaller the pupil, the less light coming through. The size of your pupil is determined by the iris (the colored part of your eye), which regulates how much light enters the retina.
Light Is Focused Into an Image: Behind the pupil, the lens focuses light onto the retina. The retina converts the light into electrical signals that are then sent to the brain for processing.
Vision: From the retina, the signals travel via the optic nerve to the brain where you finally “see” the image produced by light.
Healthy vision involves all the components of your eye working together to ensure that you are seeing your best. Vision issues, such as nearsightedness, are a result of one component not functioning properly.
What Can You Do To Keep Your Vision Healthy?
Maintaining vision healthy means protecting your eyes (and all its components). There are several steps and strategies you can follow for doing so. These include:
Annual Check-Ups: Even if you have 20/20 vision, a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to detect vision and eye health issues. During your exam, your eye doctor will evaluate the front and back portions of your eyes. This allows them to detect common eye diseases and vision problems in their early stages.
Living Well: Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and refraining from dangerous habits (such as smoking) will help keep your eyes healthy. Nutrients with omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E may help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Additionally, eating well and exercising regularly decreases your risk of developing conditions, like glaucoma or diabetes, that can lead to vision loss. Studies have also linked smoking to an increased risk of developing damage to your macula.
Protective Eyewear: Eye health means protecting your eyes from sun glare, harmful UV rays, and the hazards of extreme activities. Protect your eyes from sun glare and UV light by wearing sunglasses or polarized lenses that block 90-100% of UVA and UVB rays. Safety glasses, goggles, and eye guards are protective eyewear designed to keep your eyes safe while playing sports or doing certain activities.
Proper Lighting: Working or reading in low and poor lighting can cause eye strain, which can lead to further vision complications. Make sure to adjust your lighting (including your computer screen) to fit the environment that you are in.
There are more factors to take into consideration in order to maintain healthy vision. Be sure to discuss additional lifestyle habits with your optometrist.
Commit to Healthy Vision! Schedule Your Eye Exam Today
An eye care professional is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and that you’re seeing your best. Dr. Oker at the Eden Prairie Eye Center is committing to making sure that your sight is protected today and well into the future.
Contact Eden Prairie Eye Care to schedule your comprehensive eye exam today. Schedule your appointment online or call our office at (952) 944-2792.