You can't prevent nearsightedness. Some studies suggest you may be able to slow its progression. You can help protect your eyes and your vision by following these tips:
March 04, 2015
- Have your eyes checked. Do this regularly even if you see well.
- Control chronic health conditions. Certain conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can affect your vision if you don't receive proper treatment.
- Protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- Prevent eye injuries. Wear protective eyewear when doing certain things, such as playing sports, mowing the lawn, painting or using other products with toxic fumes.
- Eat healthy foods. Try to eat plenty of fruits, leafy greens and other vegetables. And studies show that your eyes benefit if you also include in your diet fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon.
- Don't smoke. Just as smoking isn't good for the rest of your body, smoking can adversely affect your eye health as well.
- Use the right corrective lenses. The right lenses optimize your vision. Having regular exams will ensure that your prescription is correct.
- Reduce eyestrain. Look away from your computer or near-task work, including reading, every few minutes.
- Recognize symptoms. You may have a serious medical problem if you have a sudden loss of vision in one eye, experience sudden hazy or blurred vision, or see flashes of light, black spots, or halos around lights. These may indicate certain conditions, such as glaucoma, stroke, or a retinal tear or detachment. See your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Preferred practice patterns: Refractive errors and refractive surgery summary benchmark — 2014. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/summary-benchmark-detail/refractive-errors--surgery-summary-benchmark-octob. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Myopia (nearsightedness). American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/myopia.xml. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Refractive error. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye_disorders/refractive_error/overview_of_refractive_error.html. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Frequency of ocular examinations — 2009. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/clinical-statement/frequency-of-ocular-examinations--november-2009. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Mian SI. Visual impairment in adults: Refractive disorders and presbyopia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Opticians, dispensing. U.S. Department of Labor. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/print/opticians-dispensing.htm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Eye health tips. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips.asp. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Morgan IG, et al. Myopia. The Lancet. 2012;379:1739.
- Myopia (adult and pediatric). AskMayoExpert. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Refractive error. AskMayoExpert. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Nearsightedness. American Academy of Opthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/myopia-nearsightedness/index.cfm. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Surgery to improve your vision: PRK and LASIK. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2008.
- Myopia (Nearsightedness). American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/myopia?sso=y. Accessed Jan. 20, 2015.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.