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We all know the importance of eating healthy, exercising and seeing our doctor regularly. Did you know that all of these things are just as important for good eye health? If not, don t despair and take some time to learn all the necessary things to ensure continued eye health for years to come.

Diet & Exercise
Exercise and physical activity are extremely important to eye health. According to Vision Service Plan s GetFit program, there are studies that show how exercise decreases pressure in your eye, both right after exercise and over longer periods of time in those who exercise regularly. Being active and staying fit also reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which can also affect your eye health.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is also necessary to good eye health. For many, these are the dreaded words no one likes to hear. But eating the right foods and those high in antioxidants has been linked to lower rates of macular degeneration and other eye conditions.

Many of the online vision care sites we reviewed, such as Vision Service Plan and EyeMed, have loads of tools and educational resources available on eating healthy and tips on getting in that exercise needed for healthy vision and healthy eyes. The sites also offer individual and family vision insurance plans, which is the main reason we reviewed them.

Eye Exams
Many people do not regularly see their eyecare professional and/or cannot even afford vision insurance. Most of them wait until their vision is blurred, they can t see the blackboard, or they are having symptoms or issues with their eyes. For some it s a quick visit to the eye doctor, maybe a prescription for contacts or eye glasses. But for some, this is too late and the diagnosis is grim. The World Health Organization says that over 75% of the world s blindness is preventable. Many times there are no symptoms and early detection could have prevented permanent loss of vision.

Did you know that in having a thorough eye exam, eyecare professionals can often detect and predict whether you are at risk for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, stroke and heart disease? A complete eye exam typically includes the following:

  • Eye muscles test to check their ability to rotate and coordinate properly
  • A test to check for blind spots in your peripheral or "side" vision. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma. Analysis of blind spots may also help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.
  • Glaucoma test to measure the pressure inside your eye
  • Examination to check the cornea, iris, lens, and anterior chamber of your eye
  • Retinal examination to take a look at the back of your eye, including your retina, optic disk, and the underlying layer of blood vessels that nourish the retina
  • Pupil dilation that enlarges the pupils and makes it easier for the eye doctor to examine them.

Diet, exercise and annual eye exams are vital to good eye health. For more information on vision wellness, vision insurance and the tools and resources available to you, check out some of our top online vision care sites such as VSP, EyeMed and Spectera for more information.

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