How to care for your eyes

Published On: Oct 08 2012 03:54:29 PM CDT   Updated On: Nov 14 2012 01:35:17 PM CST

By Polly Turner, Pure Matters

You should see your eye doctor regularly to help avoid or minimize vision problems.

Common eye problems include blurred vision, halos, blind spots and floaters. Blurred vision refers to the loss of sharpness of vision and the inability to see small details. Blind spots, called scotomas, are dark "holes" in the visual field in which nothing can be seen. Floaters are small bits of protein or other material that drift in the clear gel-like portion of the eye. The source of these problems can be from damage to the eye itself, a condition of the body such as aging or diabetes, or a medication.

Don't wait

Often, people with vision problems wait far longer than necessary or sensible before getting an eye examination. If you have any change in vision, have it checked out by an eye care professional. Only an eye doctor can identify serious vision problems such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy at a stage early enough to treat.

These are the main categories of eye professionals:

Symptoms to watch

The following symptoms, even if they are temporary, mean you should see an eye care professional immediately:

These symptoms mean you should see an eye care professional soon:

Vision care

Everyone should have a regular exam every year or two, and annually after age 60, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). Between routine visits, you can take these essential steps to help maintain or improve your vision:

What to do

Specific vision problems can benefit from specific solutions, according to the AOA: