The six things you need to do to preserve your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy are much the same as what you need to do for overall good health.

At some point, everyone needs glasses and/or contacts to see well. It’s just a matter of when. Presbyopia is a gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. Age is the main risk factor but other medical conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cardiovascular disease as well as certain drugs including antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics can cause premature presbyopia.

The good news is that there are things that you can do to prolong the inevitable loss of eyesight and maintain good eye health.

6 things to do to keep your eyes healthy:

1/ Healthy Diet: Type 2 diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults. Your diet is as important to your eye sight as it is to your overall health. The majority of your diet should consist of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, protein and good fats.

2/ Quit Smoking: Nothing good comes from smoking so don’t start and if you smoke, make the effort to stop. Smoking increases your risk of vision loss from cataracts and macular degeneration and may also cause other conditions including dry eye, optic nerve damage and conjunctivitis.

3/ Wear Sunglasses: Sunglasses help protect your eyes and the delicate skin around your eyes from too much UV exposure. Not only do sunglasses help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration but they also help prevent skin cancer. Approximately 10% of all skin cancers are found on the eyelids.

4/ Use Safety Eyewear: Sports and recreational activities account for more than 40,000 eye injuries each year in America and 90% are preventable with proper eye wear and facial protection. It’s a good idea to consult your physician or get professional advice before playing collision, contact and certain non-contact sports to ensure you have adequate protective gear.

5/ Look away from the computer: Most Americans are spending more than 10 hours per day looking at a screen. Blue light emitted from screens [computer, tablet, phone] has more energy and reaches deeper into the eye than other visible light. The increased exposure and intensity of blue light has eye doctors concerned about retina damage, increased prevalence of myopia [aka: nearsightedness: distant visions appearing blurry] and macular degeneration.

It’s important to give your eyes a break and periodically look away from the screen. If you’re already in the habit of doing regular stand breaks, do your eye breaks at the same time to make it easier to remember. If you’re feeling the effects of digital eye strain, try a cover for your screens and/or get “computer glasses”.

6/ Get your vision tested and eyes examined: The general rule for healthy adults is every two years. However, if you’re experiencing blurry vision, eye strain and/or headaches, it’s probably time for a vision test. If you’re experiencing other visual issues, it’s probably time for a full exam. Check with your doctor or start with an online vision test.

Opternative provides an online test that you can do from the comfort of your home or office. All you need is a computer, phone and standing room at approximately 6 feet and 12 feet from the computer to complete the testing. The test is broken down into sections so if you get interrupted during the test, no problem. Press continue when you’re ready to proceed. It takes about 10 minutes [depending on number of interruptions] to do the test and within 24 hours you get your new prescription for glasses and/or contacts.

If you’re doubtful that it’s as good as doing it with your doctor live, check the results. Read the prescription in light of your vision issues and/or try it out. If the prescription doesn’t resolve your chief complaints, Opternative will redo the test as part of their Satisfaction Guarantee and most eye glass retailers will correct the lenses.

Wearing lenses with the wrong prescription will not damage your eyes or make your vision worse. It may feel weird, give you a headache and/or cause eye strain, but rest assured doing so will not do any permanent damage.