Since Father’s Day is this Sunday and June is designated Men’s Health Month, we’re going to focus on some healthy vision habits for men. These habits are recommended for everyone, of course, but we can encourage our fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, friends and colleagues to take better care of their vision health. Everyone needs a good reminder, now and then. Along with these four habits, tell your dad to visit the eye doctor for a comprehensive dilated eye exam, too. Routine eye exams are important for older adults because certain eye conditions can be diagnosed and treated early.
Adding these habits to a daily routine will help to protect eyes and keep them healthy.
- Wear sunglasses.
Especially important if he spends a majority of his day outside. Prolonged UV exposure can cause serious damage to the cornea, lens, retina and other parts of the eye. Cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration have all been linked to extended exposure to ultraviolet rays. If he is already in the habit of putting on sunglasses every time he steps outside, just be sure his lens block out 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Have less screen time.
Whether he is on his smartphone a lot, or spends the majority of his workday in front of the computer screen, having less screen time or, at least, resting the eyes every 20 minutes, is a good habit to practice. Or try putting away the phone at a certain time every night as part of the evening routine.
Digital eye strain from too much time staring at a digital surface is a growing concern for all of us. To prevent it, some other steps include keeping a distance from the screen and using one device at a time. We can also encourage each other to put down our electronic devices and connect face-to-face more.
- Use eye protection.
We don’t ever plan on getting hurt, but we can take steps to prevent it from happening. Consider protective eyewear, whether playing sports, at the workplace, or doing chores at home. Polycarbonate lens are recommended because they can withstand an impact. There are different kinds of eye protection for different activities, so be sure you’re choosing the right ones. This is true for protecting your eyes from workplace hazards, too–make sure you have the proper protection for the job.
- Eat fruits and vegetables.
Not sure this would be considered a habit, but let’s make it one. How about eating an apple on the way to work or eating carrots everyday as an afternoon snack as a newly-formed habit? More specifically, try foods containing vitamins linked to eye health like spinach, almonds and eggs. Working on other healthy choices, like quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, can greatly impact your overall health and prevent possible vision problems.
On Father’s Day this Sunday, check in with your dad and make sure he is visiting the eye doctor. A new pair of sunglasses or a yearly subscription to a vegetable delivery service would be a useful and thoughtful gift. Most importantly, tell him you care about him. That alone could be enough motivation for him to visit the eye doctor and pay more attention to his vision health.