Doctor giving eye exam for eye health

March 8, 2016

Eye Health and You: Tips for preserving your eyesight

Healthy eyes are an important part of our overall health. There are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and help preserve your eyesight into your golden years.

Sun Protection

We all learn about the importance of protecting our skin from the sun at an early age. Excessive exposure to sunlight may cause certain cancers and other conditions that can threaten your vision as well. Always wear sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation, and if you are a contact lens wearer, select UV blocking contact lenses that are effective in filtering out these rays. Sport a broad-brimmed hat to help shade your eyes in the sun. And when applying sunscreen, don't forget to apply to your eyelids and face!

Eat Right

In addition to carrots being a well-known 'superfood' for eye health, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and certain proteins can help to maintain your healthy eyes at any age. The sooner in life you integrate such eye-health foods into your diet, the better. The antioxidants and vitamins in such foods as kale, spinach, strawberries and eggs to salmon, beans, nuts and seeds can give your eyes a healthy boost as well as your overall body health.

Know your history

Has anyone in your family been diagnosed with an eye condition or disease? Many eye health issues can be hereditary, including glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Knowing what you might be more susceptible to with your eye heath can help you be more proactive in your eye care choices, prevention measures and discussions with your eye doctor.


Many common eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and glaucoma often have little to no warning signs. A comprehensive dilated eye exam is the key way to detect such diseases in their early stages. The National Eye Institute recommends annual comprehensive dilated eye exams starting at age 60. However, African Americans are advised to begin comprehensive dilated eye exams starting at age 40 due to their increased risk of glaucoma. It's also particularly important for people with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated exam at least once a year.

With multiple locations throughout Iowa, including Ames, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Spencer and Waterloo, Wolfe Eye Clinic provides expert eye care and convenience to all Iowans.