As New Year has arrived, many of us make resolutions to improve our health. We start diets, join a gym or try a new “quit smoking” plan. What resolutions can we make to improve our eye health?
- Wear sunglasses — UV exposure can make you more likely to get cataracts or develop macular degeneration. Sunglasses also reduce the risk of skin cancer of the eyelids. Choose sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
- Diet with your eyes in mind — Certain foods can help fight off vision problems like macular degeneration, cataracts or even dry eyes. Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and vitamin C. Eat foods such as leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale, oily fishes like salmon or tuna, citrus fruits and berries, and non-meat proteins like nuts, eggs and beans.
- Quit smoking — Follow through with this most important New Year resolution! Smoking makes you more susceptible to macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage.
- Visit your eye doctor — Visiting your eye doctor is the best way to protect your vision. Eye exams often catch eye diseases early that may not be symptomatic. If vision problems are caught early, they are much easier to treat. An eye exam not only helps to protect vision, it can uncover evidence of other diseases including diabetes or hypertension.
- Take a break from electronics — With increasing use of computers, tablets and smart phones, there comes increasing computer eyestrain, blurry vision, trouble focusing, dry eyes and headaches. Remember the 20/20/20 rule; take a break every 20 minutes, rest your eyes by looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Wear your safety eyewear — Whether you are at work, playing sports or doing projects around the house, put on safety eyewear. It only takes one accident to permanently lose your vison.
- Practice good contact lenses wear — Wearing your contact lenses beyond the recommended wearing time of the lenses can lead to eye infections that are not only painful but also have the potential to result in permanent vision loss. Change your contact lens case monthly and use fresh solution every night.
- Use prescribed eye medications as directed — For example, if someone has glaucoma and does not use their drops as prescribed, pressures can rise and peripheral vision lost. This is vision that cannot be retrieved.
On behalf of everyone at Summit Eye Care, we wish you a healthy, happy New Year.