Celebrate eye health in March


Regardless of age or occupation—eye heath is something everyone should keep in mind.  This month marks three national awareness campaigns to promote eye health:

  • Save Your Vision Month  is designed to remind Americans of the importance of eye health and regular exams
  • Workplace Eye Wellness Month is for employers and employees to consider eye health at work—from industrial occupations to jobs that spend lots of time in front of screens
  • National Eye Donor Month promotes awareness of the need to donate eyes, to recognize donors and their families and to celebrate corneal recipients

Staying focused in a digital world

Regular visits to the eye doctor are a good start—but there’s more you can do in your daily life, especially when it comes to screen time on computers, tablets and phones. Prevent Blindness, a national volunteer organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight suggests the following tips to help prevent eyestrain and fatigue:

  • Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.
  • Adjust the text size on the screen to a comfortable level.
  • Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your computer screen can also help.
  • Choose screens that can tilt and swivel.

The Vision Council recommends the 20-20-20 break:  every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

Overall health makes a difference

Several vitamins and minerals found in healthy foods can help keep your eyes feeling good. Getting your recommended daily allowance of fruits, veggies and whole grains are a good step toward better eye health.

For example, the beta-carotene found in carrots is commonly known as a contributor to healthy vision, but there are many more that might surprise you:

  • Almonds house vitamin E, which can slow macular degeneration
  • Citrus fruits and berries are packed with vitamin C, which has been linked to a reduced risk for cataracts and macular degeneration
  • DHA is a fatty acid found in fish like anchovies, salmon, trout and tuna—and can help combat dry eye syndrome
  • Egg yolks include zinc, which can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration
  • Leafy greens like lettuce contain antioxidants that can help lower the risk of cataracts

In addition to paying attention to what you consume, maintaining a regular exercise program can help. The Vision Council cites losing weight as a way to help reduce inflammation throughout the body—including your eyes. The National Eye Institute notes obesity’s link to diabetes, which can lead to vision loss through diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.

Don’t forget physical eye protection

Whether it’s something as simple as donning a pair of shades on a sunny day, wearing protective eyewear while tackling a home improvement project, or sweating it out on the racquetball court, shielding your eyes from harmful external factors is essential to eye health.

Healthy eyes can transform a life

To celebrate National Eye Donor Month, consider whether choosing to register as an eye donor might be right for you. You can learn more about donating in Minnesota by calling 888-5-DONATE, and can register online through Donate Life.