With the ball dropping and confetti starting to fly, you know that the New Year is upon us. And with all the talk of losing weight, quitting bad habits and generally getting healthier, we thought we’d focus on the resolutions that will keep your eyes – and your vision – healthy and happy. Here are the resolutions you should make for optimal eye health in 2016:
Make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam.
We don’t want to sound like broken records, but if there’s one thing you can do to ensure you’re keeping your eyes healthy and your vision optimal, it’s to make sure you get in to your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam every year. Many eye conditions are asymptomatic in the early stages, so it’s vital that you get your eyes examined on a regular basis. When it comes to your vision, an ounce of prevision is truly worth a pound of cure!
This time of year, you’re no doubt assessing your diet and determining what you can do to be healthier in the new year. This is a good idea, particularly for your eyes! Believe it or not, those nutrients that are essential to your overall health are also critical for maintaining optimal vision and healthy eyes. Getting in your daily servings of leafy greens, nuts and shellfish will help you get the nutrients you need to keep those eyes working well. In fact, many studies also show that taking vitamin supplements and antioxidant supplements can help reduce the risk of advanced macular degeneration progression and visual acuity loss.
Always wear your sunglasses.
No, you don’t need to don your shades indoors or at night, but it’s important to remember to protect your eyes every time you’re outside. Sunglasses help shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, which are present outdoors even on cloudy days. UV rays can increase your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, not to mention photokeratitis, which is essentially a sunburn on the eye. Hopefully Santa brought you some good-looking shades, because you’ll need to wear them all through 2016!
If this one is already on your resolution list for 2016, you should know there are many benefits to quitting smoking and the use of other tobacco products – even for your eyes! Smoking can increase your risk of macular degeneration, Grave’s disease and glaucoma, not to mention countless other diseases that can effect both your eyes and your overall health. If you’ve tried and failed in the past, make 2016 your year of success; your doctor can help you.
Practice good hygiene.
If you wear contact lenses, good hygiene is key to keeping your eyes free from infection. Never sleep in your contact lenses, and be sure to keep your contact lens case clean. Soak your lenses in sterile solution every night and replace lenses when they’re due. Additionally, whether or not you use contacts, it’s important to be “clean” about cosmetics. Never share eye makeup and replace or wash brushes regularly to avoid infection.
Take a break.
If you work in front of a computer, you’re likely familiar with the effects the computer has on your eyes. Help prevent tension headaches and eye strain by looking away from the computer every 20 minutes or more often, if possible. Be sure to consciously blink often, as your eyes can dry out from too much “screen” time.
Ready to keep your eyes healthy this year? Tell us how you’re doing it!