With the New Year just around the corner, many of us are beginning to think of what we’d like to improve on in the coming year. Many resolutions focus on improving wellness﹘ ask any gym owner! While a balanced diet, regular exercise, and weight loss are all great ways to stay healthy, people often forget about the health of their eyes.
Now is the perfect time to focus on keeping your eyes as healthy as possible. Here are some ideas for taking care of your peepers in 2020:
Conscious Screen Time. Between working on computers, scrolling through our smartphones, and watching television, people are staring at screens more than ever before. So what’s all this screen time doing to the health of your eyes?
Eye strain and fatigue can occur after looking at a screen for too long, especially at close range (computer and phone screens). It’s also been found that we blink up to 50% less when using a device, which can lead to dryness and irritation.
This year, try to be more conscious of your screen time. Take breaks from looking at your devices. I recommend using the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes working on the computer, spend 20 seconds looking at something that is at least 20 feet away. This gives your eyes a break from intense short-range focusing.
Don’t Forget Your Shades. Sunglasses are essential for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays. Make sure the sunglasses you’re purchasing actually filter out UV light. Also, I suggest wearing your sunglasses even on cloudy days because UV rays can come through whenever it’s light outside.
If you already wear prescription glasses, invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses. You’re more likely to wear them than a pair of sunglasses over your regular glasses (that can look a bit silly). You might also consider transitioning lenses for your glasses. They automatically darken whenever they’re exposed to sunlight.
Get Your Eyes Checked. It’s recommended that adults ages 18-60 have their eyes checked at least once every two years, and adults over the age of 60 should see their eye doctor annually. When was the last time you went to see your eye doctor? If it’s past time for an appointment, call us today to set one up.
It’s worth noting that getting a vision exam and going to see an ophthalmologist are two different things. While having a vision exam done (say at your local eyeglasses store) will let you know if your vision has changed, it won’t necessarily alert you to health concerns regarding your eyes. Seeing an ophthalmologist is the best way to catch any issues before they worsen.
Eat Healthy, Drink Water, Exercise Regularly. Lastly, I want to highlight the ways that common New Year’s resolutions can also benefit your eyes. A diet filled with whole foods, including dark leafy greens, gives you the nutrients your eyes need to perform at their best. In addition, staying hydrated keeps your eyes nice and moist, which prevents dry eyes and irritation.
Consistent exercise has been shown to improve many aspects of health, and your eyes are no exception. Studies have found that staying in shape lowers your chances of glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye-related health issues.