Common Health Problems  »  Eye Conditions

Vision care is taking care of your eyes and general health to prevent or lessen the chances of visual problems. Have routine vision tests. (See Health Tests & When to Have Them.) The American Optometric Association gives different guidelines for adults:


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Age Group

When to Have Exams

Infants and Children

By 6 months of age; at 3 years of age; before starting first grade, and every 2 years after that.

18 years – 40 years

Every 2–3 years.

41 years – 60 years

Every 2 years.

61 years and older

Every year.

Follow your health care provider’s advice for eye exams and treatment for eye and medical conditions. Follow directions for proper use and care of eyeglasses, contact lenses, low vision aids, etc.

  1. Protect your eyes from the sun. Limit exposure of your eyes to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When outdoors, wear sunglasses with 99 to 100% protection from both UV-A and UV-B rays. Gray lenses are the best choice. Green and brown are okay, too. Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Don’t look at the sun during a solar eclipse.

  2. Protect your eyes from injury. Wear vision protective devices as needed. Examples are safety glasses and protective goggles (for swimming, working with certain machines, etc.).

  3. Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit.

  4. Have regular health exams to detect and treat conditions (e.g., diabetes) that can affect your vision or lead to vision loss.

  5. Get regular exercise for good circulation.

  6. Maintain a healthy diet. Include foods that are high in antioxidants for eye health (see below). Studies have shown that age-related eye diseases may be slowed by getting these nutrients from foods or when taken in supplement form. Talk to your doctor before you take vitamins, minerals, and/or herbs.

Foods with Antioxidants for Eye Health

  1. For Beta-carotene: Carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, kale, apricots, and broccoli.

  2. For Lutein: Spinach, savoy cabbage, greens, broccoli, peas, and green peppers.

  3. For Vitamin C: Papaya, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, green peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes.

  4. For Vitamin E: Almonds, safflower and corn oils, turnip greens, peanuts, and broccoli.

  5. For Zeaxanthin: Orange peppers, corn, collard greens, spinach, kale, and tangerines.

  6. For Zinc: Oysters, fortified breakfast cereals, and meats.


American Optometric Association


National Eye Institute


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