There are several things that are vitally important for keeping your eyes healthy. First, ultraviolet protecting sunglasses and brimmed hats can be helpful to prevent ultraviolet damage. Ultraviolet (UV) light can damage your eyes by increasing your risk for developing cataracts and also can damage the retina and contribute to macular degeneration over a lifetime. The smallest blood vessels in the body are located in the retina in the back of the eyes. Therefore, anything that can damage blood vessels can damage your eyes and your vision over the course of your life. Smoking can damage blood vessels as well as the lens inside your eyes. If this lens becomes discolored over time it is called a cataract and it must be removed in order for the person to be able to see properly. Most smokers have early cataracts so giving up smoking can promote healthy eyes. Keeping your body healthy will help keep your eyes healthy. Proper exercise, nutrition and sleep can help you keep your eyes working correctly. Having dry eyes can damage the eye surface, therefore maintaining proper tearing is important. If your eyes are dry, Systane Balance is an over-the-counter lubricating eyedrop that is effective for most patients. Your doctor of optometry can assess your eye health and make other recommendations to fit your situation.
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