MANKATO, MN- August is National Eye Exam Month and one local ophthalmologist encourages everyone to get their sight checked.

Children should get an eye exam before they enter school and at least one more while they are growing.

Adults should have an eye exam at least once in their 20s, at least twice in their 30s, every three years in their 40s, or every two years after the age of 50.

More frequent visits are recommended if you have a family history of eye disease.

Doctors say eye exams can help prevent eye disease and overall health, even if you have 20/20 vision.

Mankato Clinic ophthalmologist Penny Swanson, MD says "It is important to get a regular eye exam even if you have healthy eyes. We like to get a baseline exam at least by age 40. Checking for things like glaucoma, that you would not have symptoms for otherwise, to alert you to problems."

Tips to protecting your eyes:

- Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E may help fend off age-related vision problems

- Stop smoking: By quitting smoking, you decrease your chance of getting cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration

- Wearing sunglasses is the best way to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays

- Use safety glasses or eyewear if you work with airborne or hazardous materials at home or at work

- Make time in your day to look away from your computer screen. Continuous screen time can cause eyestrain, blurry vision, headaches, and dry eyes. Investing in digital computer lenses will make your vision crisper and provide your eyes with more focal points.

- KEYC News 12