Happy New Year to all of you! With the start of 2015 comes resolutions to be the best that we can be in the New Year. Many of us make goals related to health or exercise — losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but one part of our body that tends to get overlooked is our eyes. This year, whether you’re looking to eat healthier, lose weight or bulk up; make it a point to get your eyes into the action.
Healthy vision can improve your quality of life. Keep this year’s resolution to do what you can to ensure healthy eyes and vision. Here are a few things that you can do to achieve this goal in 2015.
Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam
Be pro-active when it comes to having your eyes examined. Make appointments not only for yourself, but for your whole family. A comprehensive eye exam can detect vision issues as well as underlying health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammations, infections and more.
Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses
Sunglasses aren’t just fashionable; they also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to sport your shades even on overcast days as those damaging rays can filter through the clouds and harm your eyes. Too much exposure to UV rays can increase your risk for cataracts as well as macular degeneration. It can also cause short term eye damage such as photokeratitis, which is a painful eye condition that results in a burn on the cornea — kind of like a sunburn, but on your eye.
If you currently smoke, quit. Smoking is not only injurious to your lungs, but it also increases your risk of developing cataracts and eye disease.
Rest Your Eyes
In today’s highly digital world it is not uncommon for our eyes to become strained, that’s why it is so important to remember to rest your eyes. If you work on a computer, make sure you’re following the 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off your computer and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Regular exercise does your body a whole world of good. A recent study tracked 41,000 runners over the course of seven years and found that consistent long distance runners were considerably less likely to develop cataracts than their more sedentary peers. Another study focused on age-related macular degeneration and found that distance runners saw a nearly 20% reduction in their risk of developing AMD.
Eat Your Way to Healthier Vision
Healthy vision begins with a balanced diet filled with fruits and veggies. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, contain many nutrients and antioxidants that help to keep your eyes performing their best. Fish is a great source of omega-2 fatty acids that helps to protect vision and assist in tear production — helping to prevent dry eye. Omega-3’s can also help reduce your risk of macular degeneration, glaucoma and more.
Drink More Water
Those recommended 8 glasses of water a day are not only great for your body, but they can also help to keep your eyes moist and nourished, which can aid in the prevention of dry eye.
Protect Your Peepers
An estimated 2.4 million eye injuries occurred in the United States in 2014. These could have easily been prevented with the use of proper eyewear. Whether you’re playing sports or mowing the lawn make sure your eyes are protected with appropriate eyewear.