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Eyes on the Road: Tips for Good Vision

It goes without saying that good vision is extremely important for driving, so it makes sense that truck drivers must meet requirements for distant vision, peripheral vision, and color recognition. Vision can be negatively affected by various diseases, and the risk for the development of eye disease increases with age. The most common eye diseases affecting vision include cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and dry eye disease. While some of the risks for these conditions may be genetic, there are some things you can do to stack the deck in your favor when it comes to eye health.

Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses protect eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light, which can have harmful effects on the eyelid, cornea, lens, and retina. Cataracts and macular degeneration, specifically, are correlated with prolonged exposure to UV light. Additionally, sunglasses improve vision in bright light, cutting out glare and increasing contrast, which helps with safe driving. Sunglasses may also help prevent headaches and migraines in those who are susceptible.

Keep yearly eye exams. While an eye exam may not be required for truckers every year, it’s still a good idea to have one yearly. Eye exams can detect eye diseases in early stages, which can be very important for preserving vision. Note that eye exams are important for people of all ages, including those with generally good vision.

Stay hydrated. Adequate hydration is important to maintain a healthy balance of fluid in the eye. Dehydrated eyes are at risk of becoming dry, strained, and infected, all of which can negatively affect vision. Dry eye disease is also a risk for cataracts, which is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. For more information on how to stay hydrated, CLICK HERE.

Eat a well-balanced diet. Poorly controlled blood sugar is a risk factor for diabetic retinopathy, which—while rare—can lead to blurred and/or dark vision, difficulty perceiving colors, and even blindness. For this reason, it’s important to keep blood sugar in check by eating a well-balanced diet. Additionally, a balanced, nutrient-filled diet is a good idea for eye health in general. Below are some nutrients known to be good for the eyes and a few foods that are good sources of each.

  1. Vitamin A: liver, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, broccoli, red bell pepper, mango

  2. Lutein and zeaxanthin: dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, lettuce), summer squash, pumpkin, carrots, pistachios, Brussels sprouts

  3. Omega-3 fatty acids: seafood (mackeral, salmon, sardines, anchovies), chia sees, flax seeds, walnuts

  4. Vitamin C: red bell pepper, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower

  5. Vitamin E: almond, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli

  6. Zinc: meat (beef and pork), shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster), chickpeas, cashews

Make sure to click the links to see recipes for these foods! And comment below to let us know: How do you take care of your eyes while on the road?

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