Looking After Your Eyes for the New Year

As we start off the New Year, many of us are making New Year’s resolutions. One of the most popular New Year resolutions is to improve our health — a promise to better ourselves for a new year to come. Some may take up running or new a new nutritional diet. Others are simpler: taking measures to improve eye health. Here are our top recommendations for improving your eye health in 2017:

Eat Healthy and Clean

Protecting your eyes starts with what you eat. It’s not just carrots that help your eye sight — dark green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and dark-colored berries all contain essential nutrients and antioxidants that will do wonders for your eyes. Vitamin A, for example, is commonly found in bright yellow and orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes.

Fruits like strawberries, oranges and mangoes provide vitamin C and other antioxidants, which also help fight eye disease. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, or anchovies are also high in omega 3s — good for tear production, which relieves dry eyes.

Stop Smoking

If you’re a smoker, make a resolution to quit in 2017 (this will help your overall health, as well as eye health). Smoking or people highly exposed to second hand smoke are more susceptible to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage.

Wear Sunglasses

The UV rays aren’t just harmful to your skin, but your eyes, as well. Too much UV exposure increases your risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye disorders. Choose sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Wear them whenever you’re outdoors during the daytime. For added protection, shield with a wide brim hat for full coverage and shade.

Give Your Eyes Breaks from Electronics

With computers and mobile devices in hands’ reach of every household, many of us develop Computer Eye Syndrome. Computer Eye Syndrome can cause eye strain, blurry vision, trouble focusing, dry eyes, headaches, and even neck and shoulder pain. To protect your eyes from Computer Eye Syndrome, use the 20/20/20 rule:

Rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise encourages the eyes to relax the muscles inside the eye to reduce fatigue. Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds then gaze at something up close for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat 10 times. This exercise will help reduce the risk of your eyes locking up after prolonged electronic use.

Get Regular Eye Exams

It’s important to get regular checkups to catch any eye problems such as glaucoma or diabetic eye disease. It is recommended for patients to follow the below eye exam schedule:

  • At 40: a baseline eye exam
  • From 40 to 55: an eye exam every 2 to 4 years
  • Ages 55 to 64: an eye exam every 1 to 3 years
  • At 65 and up: an eye exam every year

Routine eye exams for kids’ vision vary by age:

  • Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician or family physician in the hospital nursery.
  • High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.
  • In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened for eye health during checkups with their pediatrician or family doctor.
  • Around age 3, kids should have eye health screenings and visual acuity tests with their pediatrician or family doctor.
  • Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment checked by their pediatrician or family doctor. Those who fail either test should be examined by an eye doctor.
  • After age 5, routine screenings should be done at school and the primary doctor’s office, and if symptoms such as squinting or frequent headaches occur.

Schedule a Consultation

Keep it simple in 2017 and better your health with the gift of protecting your eyes. Join us at Advanced Eye Medical for an expert consultation on our services. Schedule a consultation with us today and join our many satisfied patients.

References and further reading