Tips to help you protect your eyesight

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - More than 87,000 people in North Carolina are diagnosed with Glaucoma, that's nearly two percent of the population.

Dr. Rasika Whitesell with MyEyeDr joined us on WECT News First at Four to highlight Glaucoma Awareness Month, which is January.

Dr. Whitesell explained there are ways to prevent Glaucoma.

She recommends:

  • Eat your veggies. A diet rich in beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and certain vitamins play a key factor in overall eye health, and help guard against vision loss from eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Get active. Make it a goal to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise into your everyday routine. Healthy weight and normal blood pressure levels are key to improving your overall health, including your eyes.
  • Avoid smoking. Several research studies suggest smoking can likely increase deterioration of the macula due to the increased chemical compounds in the bloodstream, reducing blood and oxygen flow to the eye.
  • Wear shades. Sunglasses serve as a fashion statement, but the right pair can shield your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays, even in the winter months. Prolonged and high levels of UV rays can lead to serious health problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration. Remember to sport your shades to protect your eyes during UV exposure.
  • Schedule an annual eye exam. An annual eye exam is recommended for everyone, even when vision issues aren't apparent. Having a routine comprehensive eye exam is the most important thing you can do to prevent or treat vision issues. Consult your local optometrist and schedule an annual eye exam to detect issues early and ensure proper treatment so you can continue seeing clearly.

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