Preventive Eye Care

preventive-eye-care-santa-rosaYour eye health and clear vision are important for your quality of life. Cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachments and macular degeneration are among the many eye conditions that become more common with increasing age and can affect clear vision. Genetics and environmental factors likely play a large role in determining who will get these conditions and when. However, there are many preventive eye care measures that you can do at any age that may slow down age-related conditions and help protect your eyes.

Many recent scientific studies have shown that certain nutrients may help protect your eyes and vision. It is best to get these nutrients through a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables (such as carrots, spinach, kale and broccoli). Supplements may help provide an adequate daily intake of certain nutrients, but be careful not to take excessive vitamins. If you have macular degeneration, strongly consider a multi-vitamin with the AREDS-2 formula (Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2). Ask Dr. Hall and your other doctors about whether supplements may be helpful and appropriate for your specific conditions. Visit this website for more information: - Nutrition.

UV & Blue Light
UltraViolet Radiation (UVR) is likely associated with cataracts, macular degeneration and certain forms of skin cancer around and in the eyes. Blue Light (BL) is likely associated with macular degeneration, eyestrain and sleep deprivation. Sunglasses that block UVR and BL, especially those that wrap around your eyes, provide good protection. They should be worn on sunny days, as well as bright overcast days since UVR can penetrate and reflect off of clouds. Since LEDs, computer and smartphone screens emit high amounts of blue light, use screen protectors and glasses that reflect and/or absorb BL. Because UVR & BL exposure is cumulative, it is ideal to block UVR & BL beginning in childhood. For more information: - UV Radiation and your eyes & Blue Light - Bad For Your Eyes?.

Myopia Control
Myopia (Nearsightedness) is associated with retinal detachments, glaucoma and early cataract formation. Recent research has indicated what can be done during the growing years to hopefully slow the progression of myopia. Please ask Dr. Hall about this newer area of eye care. For more information vist our webpage on Myopia Control.

Protect Your Eyes From Injury
We generally suggest eyeglasses are made with polycarbonate materials due to their tough protective properties. Also, realize that work-related and sports-related eye injuries are very common. Wear protective eyewear that is designed for the work, recreation and sports activities that you participate in. These websites provide more information: Protecting Your Eyes At Work & - Protective Sports Eyewear.

It is not just lung and other cancers that smoking can cause. Smoking is associated with vision loss via an increased risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Dry eye problems are also more common with smoking. More information: How Smoking Harms Your Eyes. For help with smoking cessation, contact the California Smokers' Helpline by phone at 1-800-NO-BUTTS, or online at

Overall Health
Stay in good physical shape since your eyes are truly a part of your body as a whole. This includes monitoring your blood pressure and diabetes risk. For example, there is more blood flow per unit area behind the macula, the central detail vision part of the retina, than anywhere else in the body. And exercise increases blood flow which can decrease risk for glaucoma progression.

Regular Eye Exams
Since many eye conditions have no early symptoms, it is generally recommended to get eye exams at 6 months old, 3 years old, and every 1 to 2 years thereafter. Contact lens wearers generally should have an eye examination every year to evaluate the fit of the contact lenses and the health of eye tissues in contact with the lenses. Seniors should receive eye exams every year due to the increasing risk of most eye conditions with age. Of course, more frequent eye exams are necessary at any age if you have certain eye or overall health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. For more information visit this website from the American Optometric Association:

If you need further information or would like to schedule an eye exam, please call our office at (707) 570-2418.

Methods mentioned in this website may or may not improve, halt, slow down or prevent eye health conditions for a specific individual. However, research indicates positive benefits for the majority of people. A list of references supporting this information can be made available. Topics not covered in this website can be discussed with our eye doctor. This information is not a substitute for a thorough eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.