**This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my review.**
In April 2002, when I was in 1st grade, I got my first pair of glasses. I failed a vision screening at school, and after going to the eye doctor, I learned that I am nearsighted. Less than 24 hours later, I was little “glasses girl,” and prioritizing eye health became a part of my life. Throughout elementary and middle school, I had to get a new prescription almost every year because my eyesight continued to worsen over time. After I had switched to contacts in high school, this trend seemed to plateau for a while. I only had to get one new prescription early on in college. That is until I caught a bad eye virus in May 2015—one that I am still fighting off almost a year later. The virus caused my eyesight to become even worse than it already was. Now, I wear very powerful contact lenses to correct my myopia.
Because of everything I've been through, I have been mindful of my eye health for most of my life. Being blind as a bat at age 21 is part of who I am, and I make an effort in my daily life to do things that will keep my eyes strong. I take Vitamin C (an important vitamin for eye health) daily, and I also eat a balanced diet.
That’s why I love the Think About Your Eyes campaign. It is a national public awareness campaign that aims to educate people about how to keep their eyes healthy. They do so by spreading awareness of the benefits of excellent eye health as well as encouraging people to get annual comprehensive eye exams. Just like all the other muscles in our bodies, our eyes need regular care to function at their maximum potential. While many fitness-conscious people are aware of the many benefits of exercise, when Think About Your Eyes surveyed gym-goers, they found that many neglect their eye health. Even though they are very conscious of their health and fitness overall, they aren’t aware of how important eye health is. That’s what Think About Your Eyes hopes to change.
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The easiest way to keep track of your eye health is to get an annual eye exam from a doctor. They’re the only ones who can tell you if there’s actually something wrong or if your eyes are in perfect condition. Trust me, I have gone to about five eye doctor appointments in the past year, and without them, I might not have my vision right now. If you don’t currently have an eye doctor, use the Think About Your Eyes locator to find a great one in your area.
If you’re not yet convinced that eye health is incredibly important, here are a few reasons you should prioritize it as part of your fitness goals:
1. Eyes Can Help Doctors Detect Other Problems
An eye doctor can actually tell early on if you might develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other health concerns just by looking at your eyes. By prioritizing eye health and receiving an eye exam once a year, you could stop health problems before they even happen.
2. You Might Need Vision Correction
Many people need some kind of vision correction, and they aren’t even aware of it! This can lead to headaches, a further decline in vision, and other issues. If you go to the eye doctor every year, you’ll know right away if you need to get glasses or contacts.
3. Good Eye Health Promotes Great Overall Health
The things you must do in order to have excellent eye health—including eating right, abstaining from smoking cigarettes, and visiting a doctor regularly—will help improve your health overall. If you don’t already do these things, incorporating them into your life will make your eyes and the rest of your body stronger.
What you’re probably wondering now is: Besides getting an annual eye exam, how can I foster excellent eye health? There are many ways to do this. Taking vitamin supplements (especially vitamins C and E) and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and lutein are two ways. Wearing sunglasses and limiting screen time, including your TV, computer, and smartphone, are also important. More ways to take care of your eyes include:
- Don’t wear the same pair of contact lenses longer than you should
- Control the air quality in your home
- Drink caffeine…in moderation
If you want to learn about more ways, simply ask your eye doctor!
Hopefully, now you know a little more about why it’s so important to take good care of your eyes. Spread the word about the Think About Your Eyes campaign, and make sure your friends and family are taking care of their eyes too!