How to Keep Excellent Eyesight Part 2

This is the 2nd part in the series “How to Keep Excellent Eyesight: 15 Ways to Prevent Blindness.” In a world where the cost of healthcare continues to rise and getting health care is more and more complicated the best thing we can do is prevent health problems from coming.

The cynic can always find a loophole or a reason why personal efforts are not worth the effort.

However, I am and will remain a huge believer in preventative medicine.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment.  Enjoy.

8.   Be aware of the effects of diabetes on the eyes.

When not managed, diabetes is dangerous for eye health.  Out of control sugar levels wreak havoc on the eyes, leading to diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in the USA today.

And it is preventable.

Be proactive in keeping blood sugars under control, enjoy a healthy diet and maintain a regular relationship with the optometrist to diabetic retinopathy.

There is constant research being done to help us understand these diseases better and find cures.

Hope for diabetic eye disease cure may be on its way.  The University of Michigan Kellog Eye Center has identified a specific protein that regulates the leaky blood vessels which cause the vision impairment in diabetic eye disease.  Researchers believe they have found a way to block the damage done, preventing the vessels from leaking and stopping the vision problems.  “We still have a long way to go…but the results are very promising,” one of the lead authors stated.

9.  Taking care of your eyes helps decrease your chance of falling and hip problems.

Fix your cataracts and avoid hip surgery?

Yes, according to researchers there is a big connection between eyesight and how well we live, especially as we get older.

Having cataracts removed may decrease your risk of hip surgery.  Victoria Tseng from Brown University, Rhode Island, states that people with better vision decrease their risk of falls at significant levels.  She and her colleagues state they found that cataracts are “one of the most common causes of fracture-related visual impairment.”

10.  Decrease or stop smoking.

Smoking is hard to quit but the positive influence on your health is magnanimous.

Smoking affects many parts of our bodies and our eyes are not immune.

Researchers from China concluded an extensive study showing the correlation between smoking and different kinds of cataracts.

Age-related cataracts are the most common kind that comes from smoking (that scientists can tell).  While cataract removal remains one of the most successful surgeries in the Western World, there is a notable cost attached that some people cannot afford.  Preventing cataracts in the first place by not smoking is important for quality life and vision at all stages of life.

11.   Avoid Computer Vision Syndrome.

If we have poor posture at our work desks, not sitting close enough OR too close to the computer screen, our eyes work harder to make up for the difference.  Computer vision syndrome can result in eye weariness, headaches, red eyes, dry eyes and changes in vision.

To avoid computer vision syndrome, do the following:

Make sure you are seated correctly at your work station, approximately two feet away from the screen.  Feet should be flat on the floor.  Eyes should focus straight with shoulders back and neck in a upright position.  For more information on computer vision syndrome, check out

12.  Protect the eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.

The harmful UV rays of the sun don’t only burn our skin.  Exposure to the harmful UV rays can lead to burning around the eyes, increased risk of cataract development and other eye problems.  Protect your eyes with UV protective sunglasses.

13.  Some of the most successful operations in the United States are for the eyes, helping many people return to a high quality life.

Cataract surgery remains one of the most successful elective surgeries in the United States.

In the past advanced cataracts would interfere with vision and quality of life.  Today, there are easily removed and individuals continue on with hardly a break in their routine.

Add in the advances of Lasik and Orthkeratoloy procedures and more adults are enjoying better vision today than ever before.

14.  Indulge in fish and lean meats.

Eating fish and lean meat can help protect the eyes.  Salmon and other fish are filled with the healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Multiple studies show how omega-3 fatty acids can directly protect the eye from wear and tear.

15.  Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

We are holistic beings.  Our different body systems affect one another.  If a body system is not functioning properly, it has the potential to infect other parts.

High blood pressure will cause problems for every part of the body because each organ needs the life giving nutrients and oxygen the circulatory system brings.   High blood pressure is nicknamed “the silent killer” because the effects of unrelenting and uncontrolled high blood pressure are often symptom-less until the damage has been done.

When blood pressure is high, the circulatory system running through the eyes wears down and gets weaker.  Optometrists can assess blood pressure when he or she looks into your eyes with their equipment.

Take charge of your blood pressure now and keep your eyes healthy and your vision bright for the future.


Just like having a healthy blood pressure, having good vision has a little bit to do with genetics and physiology.  There are some things in life we can’t outrun.  Some eye problems, like glaucoma and macular degeneration, have a genetic component that scientists haven’t figured out how to fix.

The good news is that a lot of your vision depends on habits, not genetics.

Even if there are some variables in the genetic pool working against you, we can fight them with today’s excellent technology and scientific knowledge to overcome them.

Blindness is mostly avoidable today.

If we our conscious of our lifestyles and practice preventative healthy only a few people should suffer from blindness in old age from unpreventable factors.

Most people today who will be blind in their later years could have taken steps to stop it from advancing so far.  Blindness is becoming an avoidable malady.

Protect yourself. Protect your loved ones.  Take care of your eyes.

You can read more of Melissa AuClair’s writing at