With June being Cataract Awareness Month and with beach season being in full-swing here in Southwest Florida, there’s no better time to take some simple steps to keep your vision in great shape this summer. Though the risk of cataracts increases significantly by age 45, it’s never too early to keep your summertime eye health at the top of your mind. Here are 4 steps you can take to keep your eye health in great shape this summer
1. Wear Sunglasses
In Southwest Florida, the UV index increases greatly during the summer months. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issues UV forecasts every 24 hours. Lower levels of UV radiation are given a UV index value of 0-2.9, while UV index levels of 6-7.9 are considered “high,” and any UV index rating over 11 is considered “Extreme.” In Naples, the early morning levels are usually between 1-2 on the UV key, but noontime and afternoon sunshine can deliver UV index levels of 11-12 or greater!
UV levels can vary depending upon factors like the time of day, season, cloud cover, etc. But eye protection is recommended when the UV index is greater than 2.9. While wide-brimmed hats can certainly offer a degree of reflection from UV radiation, there’s no better way to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays than a quality pair of sunglasses. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. In addition to UV protection, polarized lenses can also help reduce eye strain while you’re outdoors.
2. Eat Eye-Healthy Foods
Your summertime diet can play a big part in your eye health, too. Be sure to include lots of foods that are high in lutein, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and Vitamins C & E. Leafy greens and fish are a great meal option, and will both help give your eyes the nutrients they need to stay in top shape. Snack on nuts, citrus fruits (easy to do here in Florida!), and even eggs to help fight off vision-related conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. Avoid Smoke
Besides all the other detrimental effects it has upon your health, smoking is really bad for your eyes. Contact with smoke can cause dryness, redness, swelling, and can even lead to higher risk of developing cataracts. This extends to second-hand smoke, as well. Even if you’re not a smoker, spending time in enclosed areas where other people are smoking could be just as bad for your vision.
4. Schedule an Eye Exam
Sometimes, we take the gift of vision for granted. Just like our overall physical and mental health, eye health should be something we all cherish. The very best way to avoid the impact of vision-related conditions is to catch them early. At Spectacles of Naples, we offer premium, comprehensive eye exams with an independent Doctor of Optometry.
Call our office today at 239.566.9307 to schedule your exam and take the next step toward long-lasting, healthy vision.
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