It’s that time again; the beginning of a new year. It’s the time when we take stock of what’s ahead and decide what we’d like to accomplish in the next 12 months.
Whether or not you have a list of resolutions or barely acknowledge the turn of the calendar page, keeping your eyes healthy will help ensure you can enjoy to the maximum what the year ahead holds. Like any part of your body, eyes take regular maintenance to stay healthy. Follow these easy tips all year through, and help protect your vision by making smart decisions every day:
1. Include eye healthy foods in your meal. Foods containing vitamin C (papayas, red bell peppers, kiwi, strawberries, oranges) or antioxidants such as lutein and beta-carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, kale, broccoli) can help reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
2. Book regular eye exams. There is no better way to protect your vision than an eye exam, as many eye diseases have no easily detectable symptoms. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that children have their first eye exam between ages six and nine months, and annually after that. Adults should have eye exams every two years, or at the direction of their optometrist.
3. Take 20. Look away from your computer screen for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away.
4. Protect your baby blues, greens or browns. Wear proper protective eyewear when undertaking major indoor or outdoor work, and wear sunglasses outside even when the sun isn’t shining – UV rays are harmful to your eyes year round.
5. Have the conversation. If you have eye irritation from allergies, inflammation, infection or injury, don’t assume it will go away on its own. Unusual visual symptoms can require treatment to resolve, or, in some cases, indicate a more serious vision problem. For eye care emergencies, be sure to ask your optometrist if emergency appointments are available – it’s often faster than going to the ER.
For more information on keeping your eyes he
althy, and to get detailed information on the best steps for your person eye care, visit your doctor of optometry. Anyone can book an appointment with a doctor of optometry without needing a referral. If you don’t already have an optometrist, visit our Find a Doctor tool at doctorsofoptometry.ca to locate a doctor near your home.
Here’s to healthy eyes in 2015!