7 Things You Can Do In Your 20s To Keep Your Eyesight From Going To Pot Later On

Good vision is something that many of us take for granted, but that can change in the blink of an eye! There are simple things we should be doing, even in our 20s, to make sure that our eyes stay in good working order for the long term. And this is important for women especially, since recent studies show that we experience serious vision issues, including permanent vision loss, twice as often as men!

Prevent Blindness, the country’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, recently launched See Jane See, a website focused on maintaining healthy vision in women. It’s definitely worth a look, but here are six quick tips right now for keeping your eyesight fresh.

1. Get Checked: All women should make regular eye exams part of their health routine. And before you see your eye care professional, talk to your parents about any family history of eye diseases, especially diabetes.

2. Eat Well: A healthy diet rich in beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids can help guard against vision loss from eye disease.

3. Quit Smoking: Smoking, even second-hand smoke, increases the risk of eye disease.

4. Protect From The Sun: When heading outdoors wear a fabulous brimmed hat and your UV-rated sunglasses (they should be labeled “absorbs 99-100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays”). UV rays are dangerous to the eyes and have been linked to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degenration later in life – something we definitely want to avoid.

5. Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands before you put on makeup so you don’t transfer bacteria from your hands to your eyes that can lead to serious eye infections. And please don’t spit on your mascara wand when it gets dry. Moisture promotes the growth of bacteria.

6. Clean And Care For Your Contact Lenses: Contacts especially the soft variety, can put you at higher risk for eye infections. So, when you get your new lenses be sure to ask the doctor how and how often to properly clean them.

7. Skip The Colored Contacts: If you’re thinking about buying a pair of those other-the-counter cosmetic, colored contacts to make a fashion statement– please don’t! Some users have reported really serious eye infections and others have almost lost their sight. It’s not worth it.

[Image of a woman wearing sunglasses via Shutterstock]