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Make Your Vision Health a Priority

May is Healthy Vision Month, a national eye health observance established by the National Eye Institute in May 2003. NEI is one of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Healthy Vision Month is designed to elevate vision as a health priority.

Did you know that most vision problems are preventable? Vision loss doesn’t have to be a natural part of getting older.

The National Institute for Health offers everyday tips to help set yourself up for a lifetime of seeing well.

Wear sunglasses (even on cloudy days)

When shopping for shades, look for a pair that blocks out at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation. Bonus: add a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out and about for extra protection.

Eat eye-healthy foods

It’s true: carrots are good for your eyes! In fact, a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale — is important for keeping your eyes healthy.

Research also shows that fish high in omega-3 fatty acids — like salmon, tuna, and halibut — can help protect your vision.

Get plenty of physical activity

Regular physical activity comes with a lot of great benefits. It can boost your mood, reduce stress, help you stay at a healthy weight — and protect you from serious eye diseases.

Give your eyes a rest

Do your eyes ever feel achy at the end of the day? If you spend a lot of time at the computer or staring at your phone, you may forget to blink — and that can tire out your eyes.

Try using the 20–20–20 rule throughout the day: every 20 minutes, look away from the screens and focus about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This reduces eyestrain and helps your eyes (and you!) feel better at the end of the day.

Protect your eyes — at work and at play

About 2,000 people in the United States get a serious work-related eye injury every day. And get this: people with sports-related eye injuries end up in the ER every 13 minutes.

The good news is that you can help protect your eyes from injury by wearing protective eyewear — like safety glasses, goggles, and safety shields. To make sure you have the right kind of protective eyewear and you’re using it correctly, talk with your eye doctor.