With 2020 on the horizon, our thoughts may turn to resolutions. We promise ourselves to take on better habits, start a diet or fitness plan, or pursue old goals with fresh zeal. One of the most important resolutions you might consider is to take better care of your eyes.
Worsening eyesight can happen so gradually, you may not even notice it. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts the number of people who need vision correction at 1.3 billion. So, chances are, you may need it at some point in your life as well. Although most of that group is over age 50, the statistic includes people
from every walk of life. But there is good news: the WHO also says that 80% of vision issues could be avoidable.1
While everyone is familiar with corrective lenses, such as glasses and contacts, to cope with changes in vision clarity, there are ways to give yourself the best chance at healthy eyes. Nutrition is a good place to start.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies (and Fish and Nuts)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that results in progressive deterioration of one’s vision, is the leading cause of vision loss and affects many people over 65. Good nutrition has been associated with a reduced risk of developing AMD and may even slow the rate at which it progresses. So, what does that mean for you? Eating a healthy diet may help you maintain your eyesight well into your retirement years and beyond.
Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, Swiss chard, and kale, contain lutein, which is beneficial to eyesight. Tuna, salmon, nuts, and avocados are all rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids and highly beneficial. Snack on fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and C, like citrus, broccoli, strawberries, and carrots. While it’s never too late to start eating healthier, making nutritious foods part of your overall lifestyle may yield the best results. 2,3
Schedule Regular Visits to Your Eye Doctor
Seeing an optometrist or ophthalmologist annually has a number of benefits. Not only will your eye doctor check your vision and keep your prescriptions up to date (reducing long-term eye strain), they can also perform a check for early signs of glaucoma. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, eye exams are even more important, since those conditions can worsen eyesight over time. Regular eye exams are a crucial part of maintaining good vision.3
Practice the 20/20/20 Rule
With all the time we spend looking at screens these days, eye strain has become a common occurrence. That’s where the 20/20/20 rule comes in. Here’s how it works: every 20 minutes, take a break and shift your gaze away from your computer screen for 20 seconds, preferably looking at something 20 feet away. Simple enough, right?
Here are a few more tips for taking care of your eyes.
• Blink more often.
Blinking helps to moisten the eyes and reduces the effects of strain.
• Stop and drop.
If your eyes feel dry, using over-the counter drops can bring relief.
• Invest in some cool shades.
Excess UV exposure can increase the risk of developing cataracts, AMD, and even some forms of cancer. Make sure your sunglasses offer 100%UV protection. Your eye doctor can check them for you if you’re not sure.3
Your eyes are your windows to the world, and you deserve a front-row view of everything the new decade is bringing your way. Why not look into some resolutions and practices focused on eye health? Who knows, you might just discover a whole new point of view.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.