The ball drops in Times Square, marking the arrival of the new year. Confetti fills the night sky buoyed on the cheers of thousands of spectators. While excitement charges the air, resolutions fill the hearts. Statistics say about 45% of Americans have at least one resolution they decide on each year. While some plan to make more money, and others desire to check more boxes off their bucket list, let’s not forget to make eye health a priority.
While resolutions are nice and all, it’s really our daily habits that have the most impact in our lives. Here are some healthy habits that can improve and maintain great eye health.
Get moving! Exercise has many advantages, but did you know movement stimulates blood circulation, which improves oxygen levels in the eyes? Try to make it a goal to include at least 30 minutes of activity into your everyday routine. Maintaining a healthy weight and normal blood pressure levels are keys to enriching your overall wellness, including your eyes.
Veggies, anyone? While attending holiday parties, don’t skip the veggie tray. To maintain overall eye health and combat the risk of vision loss from eye disease, then pile your plate with foods rich in beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient-dense diet includes leafy vegetables, fruit and fish.
Catch some ZZZs. Getting a good night’s sleep helps rejuvenate the body, while giving your eyes the rest they need. Lack of sleep can produce problems such as dry eye, popped blood vessels due to eye strain, eye spasms, and more severe ramifications.
Quit smoking. It’s common knowledge that smoking has been linked to lung cancer and heart disease, but did you know it can also cause vision loss? Research has discovered that those who smoke are twice as likely to develop cloudy vision and cataracts than nonsmokers. Experts also believe that smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration.
Wear shades. Your eyes need protection against harmful UV rays and wearing the right sunglasses can provide just the thing. Wearing shades guards the delicate tissues in your eyes from UV damage. Remember it’s just as important to sport the shades in the winter months as it is the summer.
Use screen time wisely! When focusing on your computer, to reduce the risk of eye fatigue it’s important to look away from the screen at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object for a minimum of 20 seconds. Also the position of the screen is significant. Keep your computer at least 20 inches away from your eyes. Don’t forget to adjust the lighting to minimize glare.
Schedule an exam. It’s crucial to get your eyes checked regularly. It’s essential to stay on the offensive by taking a preventative stance.
So no matter where this new year takes you, remember to maintain proper vision care.