We have built a list of useful eye health tips and resources. Sooner or later, you will need one or many of these resources if you are an eyecare practitioner, if you care about your own eyes and vision, or if you suffer from an eye condition like glaucoma.
All of these resources and links have been meticulously checked to be sure they meet a high standard for your eye health.
Table of contents
- Recommended drops
- Infographics and articles
- Find ophthalmologists in your city
- Basic information about eye health disorders and treatment
- Have a complete eye exam. You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. When it comes to common vision problems, some people don’t realize they could see better with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
- Know your family history. Many eye diseases cluster in families, so you should know your family’s history of eye disease because you may be at increased risk. Age-related eye diseases, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucomaand age-related macular degeneration are expected to dramatically increase — from 28 million today to 43 million by the year 2020.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.
- Beyond carrots. You’ve probably heard that carrots and other orange-colored fruits and vegetables promote eye health and protect vision, and it’s true: Beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that gives these foods their orange hue, helps the retina and other parts of the eye to function smoothly.
- Leafy greens. They’re packed with lutein and zeaxanthin—antioxidants that, studies show, lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Eat eggs regularly. The yolk is a prime source of lutein and zeaxanthin—plus zinc, which also helps reduce your macular degeneration risk, according to Paul Dougherty, MD, medical director of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles.
- Citrus and berries. These fruits are powerhouses of vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing macular degenerationand cataracts.
- They’re filled with vitamin E, which slows macular degeneration, research shows. One handful (an
ounce) provides about half of your daily dose of E.
- Eat fatty fish at least twice a week: Fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, proven to reduce the risk of dry-eye syndrome. If you can’t stand fish, try fish-oil supplements.
- Choose red onions. Cook with red onions, not yellow. Red onions contain more quercetin, an antioxidant that is thought to protect against cataracts.
- Have sweet potatoes for dinner tonight. Rich in vitamin A, these spuds are especially good at improving your night vision.
Tips to build healthy habits
- Alway wear goggles. Make sure to wear goggles when swimming or doing carpentry. A properly fitting pair of swimming goggles will protect your eyes from chlorine, while carpentry goggles will prevent debris from causing corneal abrasions.
- Avoid dry air. Aim your car vents down at your feet, not your eyes. Dry, air-conditioned air sucks the moisture out of eyes like a sponge, so aim the vents in your car away from your face. Serious dryness can lead to corneal abrasions and even blindness.
- Don’t smoke. Tobacco smokingis directly linked to many adverse health effects, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies show that current smokers and ex-smokers are more likely to develop AMD than people who have never smoked. Smokers are also at increased risk for developing cataracts.
- Use your sunglasses. Put on sunglasses whenever you leave the house. Not only will they block out the harsh glare of the sun, but they’ll also protect your eyes from the drying effects of wind.
- Clean your hands and your contact lensesproperly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.
- Take a break to rest your eyes. When you’re working or reading, set your alarm to beep every 30 minutes. Use this as a reminder to look up and away to some distant point for 30 seconds. This helps prevent eye fatigue and eyestrain.
- Keep it clean (women). Remove eye makeup every night. This prevents small pieces of make-up from winding up in your eye and possibly scratching your cornea.
- Don’t share a towel. Use a fresh towel every time you wipe your face. Sharing face towels and washers with others is a guaranteed way to get the highly contagious eye infection called conjunctivitis (pinkeye).
- Walk regularly. Walk at least four times a week. Some evidence suggests that regular exercise can reduce the intraocular pressure, or IOP, in people with glaucoma. In one study, glaucoma patients who walked briskly four times per week for 40 minutes lowered their IOP enough so they could stop taking medication for their condition. It’s also possible-although there’s no proof yet-that walking could also reduce your overall risk of developing glaucoma.
Tips at work
- Practice workplace eye safety. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.
- Drink water regularly. This way, your body will ask you to go to the bathroom every now and then, forcing you to rest your eyes away from the screen.
Tips for the digital life
- Customize your place. You can adjust your environment when using digital devices to promote healthier eyes. If possible, use a large monitor or screen magnifier to reduce eye strain. Make sure your chair is close to your computer and you are sitting in a chair with adequate lower-back support. Position your chair so that you are comfortable.
- Think about the light. For extended reading, change your monitor settings to a reflective lighting scheme. But don’t only think about your computer lighting.
- Good room lighting isn’t just flattering. It’s also healthy for your eyes. So, keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum. Too much lighting overexposes and irritates the eyes, while too little causes the eyes to strain in order to see. Keep your desk lamp shining on your desk, not you.
- Adjust your reading angle. Adjust the screen so you look at it slightly downward and are about 24 to 28 inches away. The center should be about 4 to 6 inches below your eyes. Also, make sure your screen is big enough and with just the right brightness and contrast so you’re not straining to see text or images clearly. Adjust the screen settings to where they are comfortable for you.
- Magnify text on screen. For those with permanently reduced vision, magnifying the text and images on your device will help you avoid straining your eyes from squinting.
- Blink and take frequent breaks. Devices are set up for virtually nonstop work — but you aren’t a machine. You need to take breaks to recharge, and so do your eyes. Use the “20-20-20 rule.” It’s easy to remember: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. And don’t forget to blink! Blinking washes your eyes in naturally therapeutic tears. If you regularly wear glasses, also make sure you have proper lenses for the computer.
- Huffington Post’s Eye Health Column. One of the nation’s top news sites has an entire news stream dedicated to eye health with top industry experts and journalists contributing to news and information regarding eye health. One of their primary contributors is Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, best-selling author and TV personality.
- All About Vision Blog. This blog serves as an independent resource for trustworthy information on eye health and vision. Established in 2010, AllAboutVision is designed to help YOU make good decisions regarding your eye health.
- Ophthalmology Times. The ModernMedicine Network brings together news, content, tools, and learning programs from credited, trusted information sources. Curated by a leading group of advisors, consultants, key opinion leaders, and content affiliates, ModernMedicine is a news hub for health industry professionals.
- Healio.com’s Optometry News. PCON Editor Dr. DePaolis shares his perspectives on each issue’s editorial coverage. This blog includes regular content from top medical practitioners regarding the field of optometry.
- CooperVision Blog: Eye Health. CooperVision is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses and related products and services. This blog contains informational articles that address an array of eye topics.
- VisionAware Blog. For those recently diagnosed with vision loss and their families, VisionAware’s blogs cover personal perspectives and responses to vision loss, daily living techniques and helpful products, breaking news on eye conditions and treatments, new resources and organizations, and more.
- Vision Source Blog. Vision Source’s blog is regularly updated to include information from the practice, as well as Dr. Walter West himself. This blog includes topics that cover everything from eye safety and science, to how to help your child adjust for wearing glasses.
- Enhanced Vision Blog. Includes posts that focus on the topic of macular degeneration and living with low vision.
- Natural Eye Care Blog. The information and recommendations Natural Eye Care offers are based on over 30 years of peer review research and personal clinical experience which guides us in providing a valuable resource to their readers regarding maintaining healthy vision naturally.
These tools are meant to help you evaluate your vision. But the only way to get an accurate and safe evaluation is to visit your eye care practitioner. These tools aren’t a replacement for a real physical test by a specialist. The article titled “Why An Online Eye Test Can’t Replace Your Eye Doctor?” by AllAboutVision.com is a recommended reading in this matter.
- Web MD Eye Assesment: Test to determine if you are taking good care of your eyes.
- Online Vision Test by Essilor: Here are 6 tests to help you quickly and easily know if it’s time to have a more detailed eye examination with an vision care professional.
- Online Eye Test by PersonalEYES: With this online eye test you can do an eye test from the comfort of your couch or office chair. If you currently wear prescription glasses you’ll need to perform the test with and without glasses to have an indication of whether your current prescription is accurate.
- Vision test to uncover underlying conditions by Cambridge Institute for Better Vision: The typical eye chart that is used to test vision only tests one visual skill – acuity. And unfortunately, acuity is the “last link in the chain.” By the time a person has trouble seeing the eye chart clearly, underlying difficulties have already developed in the visual system. This vision test may seem simple on the surface, but it helps to uncover some of the underlying patterns that contribute to eye and vision problems.
We recommend the following drops as regular drops, or as treatment drops:
- Blink Lubricating Eye Drops For Mild Moderate Dry Eye, 1 oz
- Bausch & Lomb Soothe Lubricant Eye Drops, 28-Count Single Use Dispensers (Pack of 2)
- Clear Eyes PRESERVATIVE FREE Pure Relief Multi-Symptom .3 fluid ounces
- Refresh Contacts Contact Lens Comfort Drops, 0.4 Fluid Ounces (12 ml)
Here are some educational videos about eyecare that will help you understand conditions and will show you actionable tips to improve your eye health.
- The Official YouTube Channel of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- Routine Eye Examination.
- How to Insert Eye Drops.
- Foods to Improve Eye Health.
Want to find help online? In the following forums you will find experienced people that may give you advice or clarify your questions (although, it is better to see an ophthalmologist if you think you may be suffering an eye condition).
- Eye & Vision Message Board & Forum Discussions – HealthBoards.
- Patient.info Eye Problems Forum.
- eHealth – Vision and Eye Disorders Forum.
Infographics and articles
Do you like visuals and reading? Here are some interesting infographics for you to check or share with your friends.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology Eye health Infographics.
- Infographic: 10 Health Problems Your Eyes Could Be Showing Signs Of
- Seasonal Eye health Infographic.
- Eye Health: A Guide to Iridology Infographic.
- Infographic: Top USA cities for Eye Health.
- Infographic: Eye Care Health Tips for Children
- What Does 20/20 Vision Really Mean?
- How To Choose Eye And Vision Supplements
Find ophthalmologists in your city
Doctoralia is a great directory to find medical specialists within many countries. Just click the country you live in below and search “ophthalmologist [your city]” to find an ophthalmologist near you.
Basic information about eye health disorders and treatment
Here you will find in-depth articles about each condition and symptoms related to eye problems. You will clarify your general questions about what causes eye conditions, eye symptoms and their most common treatments.