No matter what you have resolved to do for the New Year, it will be more comfortable and better if your eyes are healthy. By taking care of your eyes, you minimize the risk of developing a long list of eye conditions. As eye care professionals, here are some ideas to consider for your visual health:
- Schedule an Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam. An Annual Exam is an excellent preventative health check for any part of your body, especially your eyes. An eye physician can detect early states of conditions that can be healed or controlled at its early stages. Your ophthalmologist can also detect diabetes, hypertension, and even a stroke. Please schedule an eye exam for yourself and your family members.
- Know your family’s eye health history. Take the time to inquire about the different eye conditions of your family members. Some diseases are hereditary or predisposed like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Knowledge is power. Share this information with your eye physician.
- Quit Smoking — so many reasons to quit this habit. Smoking is linked to heart disease and lung cancer. It also increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and Dry Eye Syndrome.
- Good eating habits. Getting the proper nutrients leads to healthier vision. It is essential to incorporate vitamins A, C, and D; Omega 3 acids, as well as bioflavonoids and antioxidants.
Red and Orange Peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, green vegetables, including kale, are right for your eyes. These vegetables are rich in beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Tea, citrus, berries, and legumes are rich in bioflavonoids. Liver, beef, and fortified milk are good sources of Vitamin A, D, and Zinc. Tuna, salmon, anchovies, and walnuts are good examples of food rich Omega 3 acids.
- Utilize Safety Eyewear. Eye injuries take place at home, work, and playing sports, just about anywhere. Many of these injuries are preventable by wearing eye protection. Work and sports goggles have come a long way; they are quite comfortable and available for all ages.
- Wear Sunglasses. UV exposure is associated with a higher risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Get sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays. Whether you live in Florida or travel to cities with harsh winters, you need the protection in your sunglasses. Sunglasses are not only a fashion statement but a requirement for healthy eyes.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Most of us work continually staring at some form of a computer screen. This extended time of computer screen exposure leads to tired and dry eyes. To find relief from this behavior, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise is an easy way to give your eyes a break.
- Drink more water. It is recommended for a person to drink eight glasses of water a day. Hydration is essential for all your body functions, as well as to keep your eyes moist and nourished.
- Use artificial tears daily to give some extra lubrication to your eyes. The weather, fans, medications, and hairdryers, to name a few, affect drying your eyes. Dry eyes are uncomfortable and blur the vision. Pamper them with some extra lubrication. If the dry eye condition persists seek help from your eye physician.
- Get enough sleep. Your entire body and your eyes need the rest. Make sure your bedroom environment is conducive to a great relaxing night rest.
Some of these tips you may have heard of and some may be new. Keep them in mind so you can take care of your eyes and your vision for yourself and your family. Remember we are just a phone call away if you have any questions. Your sight is a precious gift. Have a wonderful 2020!