Optometry Clinic commemorates Healthy Eye Month with daily tips

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. --

May is Healthy Eye month, so the Dover AFB Optometry clinic has a few tips for keeping your eyes in their best condition.

Wear Sunglasses: Just like your skin, your eyes can be damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Too much UV radiation can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration or even retinal sunburns. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block all UVA and UVB rays and have good coverage. Adding a hat helps protect your eyes from sunlight that can sneak in over your sunglasses as well. Polarized sunglasses can even help with glare when on the water or driving.

Quit Smoking: Smoking increases your chance of getting cataracts, damages your optic nerves and contributes to macular degeneration. Please visit https://tricare.mil/ucanquit2 for more information about tobacco cessation.

Use Safety Glasses: Mowing the grass? Working in the garage? Grinding metal? Playing tennis? Many activities can cause flying dust, dirt and debris that can find its way into your eyes if the right protective eye equipment is not worn. Recreation spectacles – also known as Rec specs or sports goggles – on the court or field can prevent several serious injuries from fast moving sports equipment and could ultimately save your vision. You can also get clear glasses or lightly tinted glasses for sports like biking and running to keep debris or bugs out of your eyes.

Visit your Eye Doctor Regularly: Your doctor can make sure your glasses and contact lenses are the best possible prescription for your eyes. Wearing old glasses or contacts can lead to eye strain or blurry vision. Your annual eye exam also checks for eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eyes and more, so be sure to schedule exams every one to two years. Children should have eye exams at six months, three years and before starting first grade. Subsequent checkups may be recommended by the eye doctor.