How health and habits impact eyes
Even though they only take up a small percentage of space on the human body, your patient’s eyes are impacted by their healthy habits – or lack thereof.
Celebrate National Health Education Week
Take a moment to remind patients how these four factors can impact their eyesight:
It’s true that stress impacts overall health– and eyesight is no exception. Major stressors like fatigue and increases in adrenaline can cause temporary vision problems. Overall, lack of sleep causes a decline in all bodily functions including blurred vision. Similar to other muscles, eye muscles get tired from overuse which causes eye fatigue. Conversely, a surge in adrenaline may cause vision distortions that range from blurred vision to hallucinations.
While that hour spent at spin class doesn’t directly improve vision, it does play a large part in helping prevent diseases that could lead to low vision or blindness. A perfect example is diabetes. Commonly linked to obesity, diabetes can have devastating health consequences on eyes. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight significantly lowers the chances of developing diseases that compromise eye health.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. This common expression could not be truer. The things we eat are widely considered to be the number one contributing factor to overall health. Our bodies function optimally when properly nourished and we have the right nutrients to carry out necessary bodily functions. Without the right nutrition, bodies cannot support specific functions which makes developing diseases and other illnesses easier. To promote good vision, encourage your patients to fill their plates with foods high in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, lutein and antioxidants.
Thanks to mom and dad, some parts of a person’s health are out of their control. Eye disorders such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy are commonly linked to genetic components passed down from parent to child. While we can’t control the genes we inherit, educating oneself about their medical history may help patients predict and prepare for conditions they might be at risk of developing. For instance, a patient who knows they are at risk of cataracts or macular degeneration might prioritize the use of sun protective lenses while outdoors and make sure they have regular eye exams. Asking questions about a patient’s history helps you make the best recommendations to help support a life of healthy sight.
About National Health Education Week
Since 1995, National Health Education Week (NHEW) takes place during the third full week of October. Sponsored by The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), this week-long celebration brings attention to a major public health issue and promotes understanding of the role of health education in promoting the public’s health.
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