Follow these five simple steps to take control of your eye health today:
1. Get a comprehensive medical eye exam at age 40. Early signs to disease or changes in vision may begin at this age. A comprehensive eye exam is an opportunity to carefully examine the eye for diseases and conditions that may have no symptoms in the early stages.
2. Know your family history. Certain eye diseases can be inherited. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. Talk to family members about their eye conditions. It can help you and your ophthalmologist evaluate your risk.
3. Eat healthy foods. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and cold-water fish.
4. Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking also raises the risk for cardiovascular diseases, which can indirectly influence your eye health. Tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, also worsens dry eye.
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