Most of us don’t think about our eye health until something with it goes wrong. Since June is Vision Research Month, it s a great time to raise awareness about the importance of medical research to find treatments for eye diseases.
Organizations that support vision research include Prevent Blindness America, National Eye Institute, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retinal Specialists, ARVO Foundation for Eye Research, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and others.
According to the Vision Council, more than 120 million Americans currently experience some kind of vision problem. Vision Research Month serves as a reminder of the importance of regular, comprehensive eye exams which may help detect eye diseases in the early stages.
To protect your eyes from the sun, you should wear sunglasses with UV protection. This will protect from potential benign growths, skin cancer, cataracts and maybe even macular degeneration. To protect your eyes from injuries, wear protective eye wear. Each year, Americans suffer injuries to their eyes. About 40,000 people experience blindness from an eye injury. 90 percent of those injuries could have been prevented if the person had been wearing protective eyewear.
You can also support your ocular health through nutrition. Kale and spinach both contain lutein and zeaxanthin which are two nutrients that have been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. You can also find these nutrients in corn, green peas, broccoli, green beans and romaine lettuce. Eggs, oranges and grapefruits are also good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Vitamin C has also been shown to help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Citrus juice, green peppers, red peppers and cauliflower are great sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin E is another nutrient that can boost eye health. It protects cells from free radicals and can help slow the progression of macular degeneration and cataracts. You can find vitamin E in nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter and hazelnuts. Fatty acids can protect against dry eye and help with visual development. You can find fatty acids in fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel and anchovy. Carrots, which pack plenty of the nutrient beta-carotene can also help strengthen night vision.
As you’re going about your business this June, don’t forget to appreciate your eyes and everything they help you do! To learn more about vision research and how you can help, visit the National Eye Institute’s official webpage.