1) Get an eye exam! A routine eye exam is recommended every single year. I'm not talking about the basic vision screening done at your child's school or at your work. I'm talking about a comprehensive eye exam done at an eye doctor's office. Comprehensive eye exams can unveil early glaucoma, retinal tears, and even high blood pressure/high cholesterol/diabetes. Remember: Perfect 20/20 vision discovered at a vision screening doesn't necessarily mean your eyes are healthy! I've seen glaucoma in a 30-year old with no symptoms, and I've seen a retinal tear in a 20-year old with no symptoms!

2) Eat healthy! A diet high in lutein and vitamins A, C, and E may help prevent the onset of macular degeneration, according to recent studies. Try adding kale, spinach, eggs, berries, bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, and almonds to your shopping list! A multivitamin doesn't hurt either.

3) Invest in a good pair of sunglasses! Long-term exposure to UV light has been shown to be a contributing factor to early-onset cataracts and macular degeneration. This is especially important in Colorado! To save you some money, we can instead make you a pair of polarized sun clips custom-made to clip onto your glasses.

4) Drink more water! Drinking a full 8 glasses of water a day (more if you're exercising) can help reduce symptoms/signs of eye dryness, which is very common here in Colorado. This is especially important in the wintertime, when the heater is on more, and we often forget about our H2O!

5) Quit smoking! Smoking has also been shown to be a contributing factor to macular degeneration. Easier said that done, right? Consider a smoking cessation class, offered at Longmont United Hospital and a few other clinics right here in Boulder County.