Eye Health for the New Year | Healthy Eye Tips for 2020
Near the end of each year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. For many, this resolution can be to become healthier by exercising, losing weight, or developing better habits. If you’re looking for a simple resolution that can have a big impact on your health and quality of life, it may help to focus on your sight. The health of your eyes is imperative for good health. Good vision is something that we often take for granted until there is an issue.
However, the good news is that there are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy into the New Year and beyond. Consider taking the following actions:
- Schedule Regular Eye Exams. If you’ve visited us more than a few times, you know how we feel about regular eye exams! Annual exams are important for us throughout our lifetime, starting at 6 years old and continuing through adulthood. Comprehensive eye health and vision exams provide complete eye care for children and adults, your eyes will be checked for potential eye diseases or disorders. In addition, your visual abilities are evaluated carefully; appropriate treatment is prescribed, which can include lenses, medication, and/or vision therapy.
- Share Your Medical History. Once you’ve scheduled your appointment, make sure you share your medical history with your eye care professionals. Often, issues within the body may be connected with vision or eye health issues. Blood pressure, diabetes, and hypertension are all able to be detected with an eye exam, so through discussion with your eye doctor, you may be able to further a course of action for your overall health. It can also be useful to share your lifestyle and habits with your eye doctor to ensure your plans for vision correction are tailored best to fit your needs.
- Stop Smoking. We know that smoking negatively affects the overall health of the body in numerous ways, but did you know that smoking can make you more susceptible to macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, and optic nerve damage? All powerful reasons to quit. This is not just one of the most important eye care tips, but best for overall health.
- Step Away from the Screen. As we spend more and more time on our phones or the computer, many of us have begun feeling the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome. Prolonged screen time can produce negative effects such as eye strain, neck and back pain, headaches, and blurry vision. To avoid this, use the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, rest the eyes by looking at something 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.
- Eat right. Eating a healthy balanced diet is imperative for good health and reduces your risk of eye disease. Eating foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will also improve your eye health. Include lots of omega-3 fats, found in oily fish and lutein, and in dark, green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale.
- Maintain Healthy Weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing metabolic disorders and diseases such as diabetes. Diabetes can lead to other conditions, including diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. Talk to your doctor if you need help with a weight loss program.
- Keep It Clean. To prevent corneal abrasions (scratches of the eye) or eye irritation from debris, it’s important to regularly clean eyewear and replace contact lens cases. If you wear contact lenses, eye doctors suggest replacing your lens case every few months to help avoid infection and possible complications. To further reduce the maintenance of contact lenses, you could also ask your eye doctor about daily disposable contact lenses to see if they would be a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
- Utilize Protective Eyewear. If your job requires wearing protective eyewear, make sure you wear the appropriate type every time, at all times. Encourage your co-workers to do the same.
- Wear UV-Protection Sunglasses. UV rays are harmful to the eyes as well as the skin: too much exposure to the sun’s rays can increase the likelihood of cataracts or macular degeneration. To protect the eyes, wear sunglasses that provide 99%-100% protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Clean Contact Lenses Properly. Make sure to disinfect your contact lenses accordingly and replace them as recommended. In addition, always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts. Doing so will decrease your risk of infection.
- Change Eye Make-up Regularly. All make-up has a shelf-life, and eye make-up is no exception. Mascara and liquid eyeliner should be discarded every 4 months to prevent redness, irritation and eye infections.
For more information on how you can protect your eye health and vision, schedule an appointment with us today.