Access Eye would like to wish all of our readers and patients a very happy, healthy new year! January is a great time to hit the “reset” button on some of our personal habits and commit to new habits that promote health and wellness. If you are the type of person that loves to set goals at the start of a new year, we encourage you to make healthy eyes a part of your resolutions. Here, our team shares a few simple habits that are good for your ocular health.
1. Cut Down on Screen Time
Prolonged periods of time spent looking at a computer, tablet or smartphone screen can lead to digital eye strain. While you probably can’t avoid job-related computer work, you can give your eyes some relief from hours spent scrolling through social media or playing games. Spending less time on your phone or computer allows you more time to pursue other enriching resolutions or connect with the people around you.
2. Eat More Leafy Greens
Incorporating more leafy greens and vegetables like corn and broccoli into your diet plays a role in reducing the risk of sight-stealing diseases like age-related macular degeneration. These vegetables are packed with key antioxidants called lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in high concentration in the eye’s macula.
3. Wear Protective Eye Gear
If you play contact sports or regularly engage in labor-intensive household projects, make sure you protect your precious eyes every time. For athletic activities, wear sport-specific protective eyewear (check with the governing board for your sport). For projects around the house, such as yard work or do-it-yourself projects, wear eye protection that meets the guidelines set forth by the American National Standards Institute.
4. Wear Sunglasses Consistently
Your eyes deserve protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays, as sun exposure can raise the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and other eye problems. Commit to wearing sunglasses year-round and add extra protection by sporting a wide-brimmed hat on particularly sunny days.
5. Book an Eye Exam
Regular eye exams help catch problems in their early stages, when they are more easily treated and before they start to significantly interfere with vision. If you haven’t seen an eye doctor in over a year, book your next appointment today!