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[dropcap custom_class="normal"]M[/dropcap]ost adults between the ages of 19 and 40 have good vision. If they do suffer vision problems it is usually due to visual stress and eye injuries.

Whether you're studying for a college degree, beginning your career, or starting to raise a family, good vision is vital. The following are some things you can do to maintain healthy eyes and good vision:

  • Make sure your diet is rich in antioxidants, like leafy green vegetables and fish. If possible, try to eat five servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
  • Regular exercise is important to improve blood circulation, increase oxygen levels to the eyes and to remove toxins.
  • Preferably do not smoke as it exposes your eyes to high levels of noxious chemicals and increases the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
  • A regular eye examination every two years is one of the best ways to ensure you maintain healthy vision. It can also assist in preventing serious eye conditions from developing. If you are at risk for eye problems due to a family history of eye disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or past vision problems, your eye care practitioner may recommend more frequent examinations. If you notice a change in your vision between eye examinations, contact your eye care practitioner immediately.
  • Wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Be sure to choose sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection, to guard against both forms of ultraviolet rays.

Visual Stress at College or Work

The pace of today's world places great stress on our vision, and the typical college student or office worker can spend long hours reading or staring at a computer. During the course of the day, the eyes become fatigued and eyestrain and discomfort develop.

Some key signs and symptoms of eyestrain are:

  • Itching or burning eyes
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Unable to focus properly
  • Eyes feel sore and tired
  • Eyes are sensitive to light
  • Headaches

Tips for Minimizing Eyestrain

  • If possible, position the top of your computer monitor below eye level so you look slightly down at the screen. This guards against strain to the eyes and neck. Adjust the brightness of the screen and try adjusting the monitor's position or use a reduction filter to reduce glare coming from outside.
  • Every hour take a short break to give your eyes a chance to rest. Walk around for a few minutes if possible and do something that does not require near focusing. Blink frequently to refresh the eyes and use artificial tear solutions if necessary.
  • Poor lighting can be detrimental to your eyes. Consider switching off overhead lights and using an adjustable lamp to provide controlled lighting as needed.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor when seated at a desk and use a chair that is adjustable and comfortably supports your back.

By implementing these simple requirements you are safeguarding possible damage to your vision, not only in the immediate future but also in the long term. If an eye problem persists despite these corrective efforts, please see your eye care practitioner for a comprehensive eye examination.

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