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Both kids and adults should get routine eye exams. While people age 40 and older should have an eye exam every one to two years, those with a family history of eye disease may want to start exams earlier.

If you would like to schedule an eye exam, please call MetroHealth’s Eye Care Clinic at 216-778-4391. Eye Care Clinics are located at our Bedford, Brecksville, Broadway, Buckeye, Cleveland Heights, MetroHealth Main Campus, Middleburg Heights, Old Brooklyn, Parma and West 150th locations.

Diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy can all cause vision loss. Others like dry eye and eye strain are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Luckily, some simple lifestyle changes can help prevent these conditions.

“Things like wearing sunglasses and eating more leafy greens can help keep your eyes healthy,” says Elisa Bala, MD, MSc, MBA, an ophthalmologist at MetroHealth. Read on for more tips from Dr. Goyal.

  1. Give screens — and your eyes — a rest. Staring at computers and smartphones can cause you to blink less, contributing to eye strain and dry eye. Give yourself periodic breaks and use the 20-20-20 rule to help keep up your 20/20 vision. To keep your eyes healthy, the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests you gaze at an object that is 20 feet away from you every 20 minutes for about 20 seconds. If you work at a desk, make sure your computer screen is at the proper height, so you are looking slightly downward, to relieve eye strain. To help keep dry eye at bay, try some artificial tears.
  2. Put on your shades. Even through the shorter days of fall, it’s still important to block ultraviolet rays with sunglasses. Sunlight can damage your retinas, contributing to cataracts or macular degeneration. Be sure to protect your eyes when doing projects at home that can expose your eyes to chemicals or foreign objects.
  3. If you smoke, quit. The chemicals in cigarettes can damage your retinas, contributing to macular degeneration. The habit can also cause cataracts to grow more quickly.
  4.  Eat leafy greens. Greens like kale and spinach contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Leafy greens also contain vitamins E and C, which are beneficial to eye health.
  5. Maintain a healthy body weight. Becoming overweight can increase the odds of developing diabetes, a disease that can cause diabetic retinopathy.