Happy New Year! As we ring in a fresh new year, it’s human nature to consider ways to improve our life experience. Some would want to lose some weight after overindulging, while others plan to start a new sport or embark on a new business or study.
Looking better is often a top-ranking target for many. Sadly, many people neglect their eyesight, which is a critical component of one’s health and happiness – and good looks! What are you doing about it?
Here are our seven New Year’s Resolutions to ensure that your eyes are at their best in 2023:
1. Know Your Family’s Eye Health History
History of repeats itself. Many eye diseases and conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, have a genetic component and are passed on from one generation to the other. Get to know your family’s eye health history and share it with your ophthalmologist so you can catch any potential signs of disease early when treatments are most effective.
2. Follow the Proper Contact Lens Protocol
Remember the first time you tried contact lenses? It felt like a miracle to see so well. Contacts are certainly a convenient vision correction solution. But, if you don’t take care of them, they can cause serious problems. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions for proper maintenance and wearing your specific lenses. Please don’t skimp on cleaning or storing lenses, and don’t wear them for longer than recommended. Failing to follow directions puts you at risk for infections, abrasions, and even permanent vision loss.
3. Eat Healthfully for a SUPER, RENEWED Vision
Did you know? Eating right can help keep you seeing right. Getting the proper balance of nutrients; vitamins A, C and D; Omega-3 fatty acids; bioflavonoids and antioxidants play a part in healthy vision. Studies show that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of age-related vision problems, including macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.
Include more of these in your diet in 2023:
- Red or orange peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale and other green, leafy vegetables (for beta-carotene and Vitamin C)
- Tea, citrus fruits, cherries, berries and legumes (for bioflavonoids)
- Tuna, mackerel, salmon, anchovies and walnuts (Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Liver, beef, oysters and fortified dairy products (Vitamins A and D, zinc)
4. Make use of Proper Protective Eyewear
Thousands of people are rushed to hospital every year due to accidents involving foreign bodies in their eyes – and most of these cases are avoidable with proper safety eyewear. Hundreds of eye injuries happen in and around the home, and hundreds of sports-related eye injuries annually —many to children under age 14. And while 10-20% of these injuries will cause temporary or permanent vision loss, 90% could be prevented by wearing the proper eye protection.
You can keep your vision and that of your family and kids safe by wearing the proper eye protection at work, at home, and while playing sports. Tell your eye care professionals about your lifestyle, and we will recommend the ideal protection for your needs.
5. Wear Sunglasses all year long
Just because it’s wintertime doesn’t mean the sun’s UV rays can’t harm your eyes. Glare from the sun can be particularly harsh in winter, especially in Malta, and UV exposure is associated with an increased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Proper sunglasses will block at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your sunglasses – Find a pair you love and wear them daily to protect your eyesight!
6. Follow the 20/20/20 Rule
You must read this: With screen time on phones, laptops and desktops at record-high levels, most of us are hunching our shoulders and straining our eyes to catch up on the latest email, news and Social Media updates. This increased screen time can lead to Computer Eye Syndrome, characterized by tired eyes, blurry vision, difficulty focusing, dry eyes, headaches and shoulder or neck pain. To relieve the effects of Computer Eye Syndrome, follow the 20/20/20 Rule.
How does the 20/20/20 Rule work? Well, it is easy: Every 20 minutes or so, give your eyes a break by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It’s a quick and easy way to relieve some of the strain screen time puts on our eyes.
7. Plan and BOOK a Comprehensive Eye Exam before its too late
Protect your precious gift of sight, and do the same for each family member. By scheduling an eye exam, you can determine whether your vision is at its best. Our experts will update your prescription eyewear or contact lenses (where needed). You can choose the best safety glasses for your lifestyle and be screened for many potential eye issues or diseases that could dramatically impact your vision. Remember: Precaution is better (and always cheaper) than cure.
Wish to set an appointment? Please book a consultation with Oculoplastic surgeon Maria Agius here: https://bit.ly/BookyourAppointmentONLINE – You’re welcome!