Sight is a large part of our lives, but it can be tricky to know how to protect our vision in the busyness of day-to-day life. There’s no better time to make 2023 the year for healthy vision by taking care of our eyes daily.
Here are ten habits and strategies you can add to your routine to benefit your ocular health.
#1 Reduce screen time
Whether you look at a tablet, phone, or television, prolonged exposure to a digital screen can cause eye strain.
Research has shown that blue light can cause age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinal cell damage. While macular degeneration might not lead to blindness, it can cause severe and troubling visual problems over time, so prevention is key.
#2 Wear sunglasses
As pleasant as it is to spend time outdoors and enjoy the warm rays of sunlight, the sun’s UV rays can harm your eyes.
A way to help keep your eyes safe from UV rays while still getting your daily dose of Vitamin D is to purchase quality sunglasses. Sunglasses can protect your eyes from damage.
In general, you want to buy sunglasses that can block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays, as they are the most effective eye protection. When picking sunglasses, also try to pick something that frames your face naturally and comfortably so you won’t feel uncomfortable when you put them on.
#3 Book an eye exam
Routine eye exams are an important way to maintain healthy eyes. The sooner an eye doctor can determine your visual problems, the more likely treatment or relief can be obtained so that they don’t interfere with your vision.
Even ongoing, recurring issues are important to treat regularly to prevent them from worsening. A lot of the time, people decide to delay booking an eye exam because they believe that their issue isn’t serious enough or that it’s been going on for so long that it must not be serious. Still, if something brings you discomfort with your vision, it’s worth checking out and getting proper eye care.
#4 Eat a healthier diet
Did you know that a healthy diet can influence your ocular health? While eating carrots for good vision isn’t as miraculous as it was once said to be, a healthy diet can help you maintain good eyesight.
Green fruits and veggies contain more vitamins and essential minerals for good physical well-being. They help because these vegetables include lutein and zeaxanthin, essential antioxidants in the eye’s macula.
Many people have a new year’s resolution about becoming healthier and fitter. Eating a greener diet has the added advantage of helping you more easily maintain better eyesight. While green veggies get a lot of credit – and for a good reason – they aren’t the only healthy food that can help your vision!
Here are a few examples of what you can add to your diet to help reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as macular degeneration:
- Red peppers
By combining a healthy diet with other healthy eye habits, you can enjoy overall improved eye health.
#5 Be mindful of any vision symptoms you may have
Striving for eye health isn’t as easy said and done. Plenty of poor eye health symptoms can be alleviated, but not everyone knows which symptoms are typical signs of aging and which are concerning ones that need to be checked out.
Here are some signs of vision problems that you should be aware of. They may need to be checked out by an eye doctor.
- Red eyes: Red eyes are commonly associated with conjunctivitis, allergies, and irritated eyes. If your red eyes don’t go away after an extended period, it’s important to see an optical specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
- Night blindness: If you’re having trouble seeing at night, poor night vision may be a symptom of cataracts, nystagmus, or other medical concerns. Note if your vision problems get worse in the dark than in well-lit places.
- Persistent or unusual headaches: Headaches have plenty of causes. If you have constant headaches that don’t go away, significantly affect your ability to see, or are otherwise unusual, it’s essential to convene with your doctor. Headaches may indicate possible glaucoma, migraine, refractive error, or photokeratitis.
- Light sensitivity: Sensitivity to light, also known as photophobia, can range from having to squint when in a bright room to experiencing sharp pains when seeing light. If you find yourself with newfound light sensitivity, it’s essential to check it out because it can be a sign of cataracts, allergies, corneal abrasion, keratoconus, and other conditions.
- Floaters: Normally, little dots, specks, or lines you see in your field of vision are nothing to be worried about. However, floaters may still be worth looking at by an eye doctor if they bother you, as they could indicate diabetic retinopathy, eye lymphoma, a damaged retina, or uveitis.
- Visual flashes: Lights that seem to flash or streak across your vision are something to consult your optometrist about because they may be signs of a migraine, torn or detached retina, or another concerning condition. They may also be a result of aging.
- Dry eyes: Irritated, dry, and scratchy eyes are a prevalent chronic condition. It generally means that your eyes are not lubricated properly, which may indicate other conditions such as blepharitis and Bell’s Palsy. You can always check in with an optometrist to see whether treatment is advisable.
- Blurry or distorted vision: Distorted vision is a sign of numerous eye conditions, including cataracts, conjunctivitis, astigmatism, age-related macular degeneration, macular edema, and more.
As you can see, there are plenty of eye symptoms that you may be going through. A good rule of thumb is if there is any new or sudden onset of symptoms, it is a good idea to consult a doctor to see whether it is a severe eye (or other bodily) problem.
#6 Use protective eye gear
Protective eye gear isn’t just for those who work in risky environments, such as construction sites or chemistry laboratories. People who engage in sports or labor-intensive activities, even household ones, should consider wearing protective eye gear.
Eyewear that meets the guidelines for safe eye protection can help protect your eyes from severe harm and injury. Accidents can happen, and it’s better to be prepared than injured. Consistent use of safety eyewear can go a long way in preventing harm.
#7 Consider LASIK
Tired of wearing glasses, contacts, or having vision issues? LASIK is a laser vision correction procedure that serves to treat your vision problems. Our experts at Newsom Eye use the latest technology to change the shape of your cornea.
The LASIK procedure is one of the most popular elective procedures worldwide because it is practical and helpful to those with trouble with sight. Let 2023 be the year you weigh the benefits of LASIK surgery!
The following issues with eye health may be treated with LASIK eye surgery.
- Nearsightedness (myopia)
- Farsightedness (hyperopia)
- Astigmatism (the disrupted focus of near and distant vision)
# 8 Use new makeup and toss out old products
It’s no secret that some kinds of cosmetic substances can be physically harmful if not used properly or overused. Did you know that old makeup can contain a lot of germs, leading to potential eye infections?
It’s 2023. Many high-quality makeup products are safer for your eyes, but tossing expired eye makeup in favor of fresh, new items can help protect your eye health regardless of what brand you prefer. It’s time to throw out old eyeliner and mascara so you can refresh your makeup bag with new products that haven’t had a chance to start growing any bacteria.
#9 Stop smoking
You might be wondering why is an eye health resolution guide talking about quitting smoking.
Smoking can cause vision loss. More accurately, smoking can lead to changes in the eyes that result in eventual vision loss.
People who smoke are more than twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration.
If you have other risk factors for age-related macular degeneration and visual problems, such as diabetes, it is an even better idea to quit smoking.
#10 Practice healthy hand and eye hygiene
Using contacts makes it even riskier not to have proper eye hygiene.
Make sure you wash your hands regularly from this year onward before you need to or think you are going to touch your eyes. We understand that keeping yourself from rubbing your eyes can be difficult if it’s a long-term habit, so at least ensure that your hands are clean. Washing your hands can keep your eyes from getting unpleasant infections that need treatment.
Will a healthy eye resolution make a difference?
At the end of the day, like most resolutions, keeping your eyes in healthy shape requires long-term effort. If you have any questions about your eye health, are worried about cataracts, or are interested in LASIK surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.