Living in Tennessee, you’ll want to be able to see all the beautiful things around you, including the vistas of the Smoky Mountains to the caves of Ruby Falls and the wildflowers Short Springs Natural Area. Here are some health tips to keep your vision in top shape for years to come.
How Often Should You Get Your Eyes Checked?
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends children get their first eye exam at six months and again at three years of age. After first grade, schedule an exam at least every two years.
If you don’t need eye correction as an adult, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends full examinations once in your 20s and twice in your 30s. The AAO also recommends adults with no eye disease risk factors get a baseline eye screening for eye diseases at age 40.
People approaching middle age might find that reading a restaurant menu is getting more difficult, as the development of eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and ocular tumors becomes more common as we age. From ages 40-64, have your eyes checked every two to four years. Adults age 65 or older should head to the eye doctor every 1 to 2 years.
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What’s the Youngest Age You Can Get Contact Lenses?
Your ophthalmologist may have a recommended age, usually around 10 to 12, says the AOA. However, it varies by child and doctor. Before allowing your child to get contact lenses, consider if your child is ready for them. How well does he or she handle responsibility? Does he or she have good personal hygiene habits?
Taking care of contacts can be a big task for preteens, so try a trial period to see how your child does. (Keep a pair of glasses handy just in case your child finds he or she doesn’t like contacts.)
How Can I Protect My Eyes?
Protecting your vision is easier than you think. These eye health tips can keep your eyes in good shape:
- Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes from direct sunlight that can cause retina problems and cataract development.
- Safety comes first. Prevent eye injuries by wearing safety glasses when playing sports or doing home improvement projects.
- Eat the right foods. You’ve been told that eating carrots can help save your vision, but make sure you’re consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables and foods with omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) as well. Foods that contain zinc and vitamins C and E help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
- Take breaks. Prevent eye fatigue that comes with staring at a computer or phone screen by taking a break every 20 minutes to look in the distance.
Advice or recommendations are for informational or educational purposes only, not a substitute for a visit or consultation with your doctor.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also use tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the in the Member Wellness Center under the Managing Your Health tab.