New year, new opportunities. If you feel like you’ve neglected vision care in the last year, let our checklist guide you to achieving your best eye health this year!
⬚ Proper blinking is essential to healthy, comfortable eyes. Blinking is essential to the overall health of your eyes. When you blink, you ensure that your eyes are covered in a tear film, preventing tear evaporation and dry eyes. Remind yourself to blink more frequently, especially if you’re always looking at digital devices.
⬚ Know your family’s eye health history. Some eye diseases can be genetic. Knowing if you have a family history of diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma or cataracts may encourage (or compel) you to be tested for early symptoms, start developing good habits and drop the bad ones.
⬚ Sun protection must also include the eyes! Hats and sunscreens are important, but don’t neglect your delicate eyes. Remember, harmful UV rays are still present even on cloudy days, so make sure you have quality sunglasses on when outdoors. Have a pair ready for the kids as well.
⬚ Eat right! Health and wellness begin from the inside. Your eyes will love dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens as well as fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, flathead, trout, mackerel, herring, barramundi and halibut.
⬚ Don’t underestimate nutritional supplements. In some cases, nutritional supplements are necessary when it’s not practical to get certain nutrients from food alone. Ask our optometrist what food supplements you can take for optimum eye health.
⬚ Quit smoking or never start. The are countless ill effects of smoking but also countless benefits of quitting! Smoking has been known to cause heart disease, lung cancer, premature aging and increase the risk for most eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome.
⬚ Invest in quality eyewear. Quality, well-fitting spectacles is one of the best investments you can make this year. Make sure to purchase your spectacles from a shop with a qualified optical dispenser who will ensure that you get the perfect fit.
⬚ Get a spare pair or two! You shouldn’t feel guilty for having more than one pair of spectacles for different activities. You have different shoes for various functions to give you maximum comfort. Likewise, wear eyewear that will give you comfortable vision whether you’re working on the computer, reading a book, or doing crafts and hobbies.
⬚ Limit screen time. This needs to be said. Staring at our digital devices for as short as 2 hours may already cause eyestrain. If you spend most of your time with digital devices, make sure you take breaks to relax your eyes. Encourage the kids to spend more time playing outdoors than playing with the iPad.
⬚ Make sure all family members get at least one comprehensive eye test this year. Your child’s school vision screen is not a comprehensive eye test. A child could pass their school’s 20/20 vision screening, yet still have a hidden vision problem. Family members over the age 50 are also more vulnerable to eye diseases so it’s important that everyone gets tested.