Top Eye Care Tips for 2023
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Sight is one of our most treasured senses, yet millions of people across the globe have vision impairment. In many cases, such conditions could have been prevented through early diagnosis and treatment.
Kick off 2023 by taking these steps to preserve your precious gift of sight. Maricarmen Perez Blanco, O.D., an optometrist at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, shares her top suggestions for eye care.
1. Schedule an eye exam for yourself and your family
Start the year right! Get a comprehensive eye exam. It’s important to know that regular eye exams play a core role in overall health, not just eyesight. An annual exam can help detect various health conditions, including diabetes, thyroid disease, and high blood pressure.
2. Note the 20-20-20 rule
Spending prolonged periods looking at a computer, phone, or tablet screen can cause eye strain. Using the 20-20-20 rule can help prevent this problem. The rule is easy to follow. For every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Easy, right? You can also rest your eyes by closing them for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
3. Wear eye protection as needed at work, home, and play
Protect your eyes by wearing protective eyewear, such as glasses or goggles. Especially when putting away holiday decorations and disposing of Christmas trees, protect your eyes from pine needles and pointy decorated ornaments.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, hospital emergency rooms treat more than 700,000 work-related eye injuries each year. Additionally, 125,000 eye injuries occur at home, and there are 40,000 sports-related eye injuries annually. Speak to your eye doctor about work, hobbies, and athletic activities to determine the needed protective eyewear.
Also, remember that quality sunglasses help prevent severe eye conditions, including macular degeneration, cataracts, and non-cancerous and cancerous growths. They also help prevent eye injuries from everyday elements such as snow, wind, sand, and dust. It is important to always use sunglasses to protect your eyes when leaving your home. When choosing the right pair of sunglasses, ensure they are 100% UVA and UVB. Sunglasses are just as important as sunscreen. In fact, picking the right pair can protect your eyes from both long and short-term damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light.
4. Eat and drink with eye health in mind
What you eat and drink is essential to maintaining excellent eye health. Foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants play a crucial role in the health of your eyes. A proper diet can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems. Including foods like salmon, sunflower seeds, meat and poultry, sweet potatoes, spinach, and carrots can boost eye health and your overall well-being. When it comes to alcohol, moderation is key.
Excessive intake has been linked to dry eyes, distorted vision, and headaches.
5. Practice good makeup hygiene
Wash your makeup brushes regularly — in fact, instead of a New Year resolution. You should make this a “New Month” resolution.
Be sure to remove all face and eye makeup before bedtime. Sleeping in eye makeup can cause irritation, inflammation, and infection. Makeup residue can also clog tiny glands that line your eyelids and lead to symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
6. Stay hydrated
Thirsty? That’s an early sign of dehydration. Chances are, if you’re dehydrated, your eyes are also dry. In some cases, dehydration can even cause eye pain.
Strive to drink at least eight 8 ounces of water daily. Proper hydration can help alleviate dry eye symptoms, like irritation and scratchiness. Drinking more water is a simple way to ensure your eyes are lubricated.
Jessica Fleitas is the manager of communications at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.