Many would say that sight is the most important of the five senses and for good reason. Our world is full of beauty in every direction. It is important that we take special care of our eyes so we don’t miss the beautiful sights both near and far.

Eye health, much like skin care, starts from the inside out. Your eyes are an indication of your overall health and can point to diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and elevated cholesterol. There are several steps that can be taken to ensure that we are caring for our eyes properly.

1. Have a routine eye exam each year. Vision is only one aspect to an examination, albeit an important one. I know we all want to see better! The only way to truly know the status of your eye health is to have a yearly check-up. Many common eye diseases have no warning signs or symptoms in their early stages such as glaucoma, diabetic eye diseases and macular degeneration. Just like with every area of our bodies, early detection is key.

2. Eat healthy. We have all heard that carrots are good for our eye sight. Fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale and collard greens are particularly important to keeping our eyes healthy. Research studies have shown that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, either by supplements or eating fish twice a week, has been shown to decrease the risk of late macular degeneration by 38%..

3. Allow our eyes to rest and protect them from technology. We live in an ever changing world and have become reliant on technology in our lives. Although technology allows us a lot of conveniences, it is important that we take special care when using our phones, computers and tablets. If you spend a lot of time on a computer or cell phone, you may have noticed eye strain, eye fatigue or dry eye. It is important that we take breaks every so often to allow our eyes to rest. These devices also emit blue light which has been shown to not only cause a disruption in our sleep pattern (eek!) but also can cause early macular degeneration. There are treatments that we can wear on our glasses that protect us from this harmful blue light.

4. Wear UV protection. Sunglasses are typically seen as a fashion accessory and who doesn’t love a good pair of shades! Sunglasses do a much more important job of protecting our eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays which has been shown to cause early cataracts, macular degeneration and can even cause a “sunburn” on our eyes. It is important to pay close attention when buying sunglasses to make sure they are blocking 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B rays.

We have partnered with a sunglasses company to help you not only protect your eyes but also look good doing it! Solo Eyewear is a great company that offers polarized sunglasses that protect against 100% of UV light. All of Solo Eyewear’s sunglasses are eco friendly and are made with repurposed bamboo and recycled plastic. Every pair of glasses purchased helps restore vision to a person in need. To date, they have restored vision to 13,000+ people in need through the funding of eye exams, eye glasses and cataract surgery. With Solo Eyewear, you can look great and also make a difference in lives around the world. Please use code EA20 for 20% off your purchase.

Dr. McCory works with a non-profit based out of Miami called the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program where she serves disadvantaged children by providing comprehensive eye examinations and glasses at no cost to the child. She is passionate about pediatric optometry and is currently working on a children’s eyeglass company that focuses on protection against harmful blue light in technology called Tech Specs which is set to launch in the next few months. Dr. McCory is also committed to living a healthy and active lifestyle.