Make a New Year’s Resolution: Be Kinder to your Eyes

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If you’re like most people, you’ve made up your mind to do things like eat healthier, lose weight, or exercise more. We have a suggestion, though: this year, prioritize your eyes.

What can you change in your life to be kinder to your eyes? It all starts with healthier habits.

  • Eat well. A healthy diet is good for your whole body, but there are nutrients your eyes particularly need. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, flaxseed oil, and nuts, can protect against dry eyes, macular degeneration, and cataracts. So can plant pigments like lutein, found in leafy greens, and eggs can help prevent night blindness. Nutrients in whole grains, citrus fruit, berries, and other colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cantaloupe, can prevent many eye diseases. Beef and legumes contain zinc, which helps protect your retina.
  • Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking raises your risk of many different eye problems, including cataracts, macular degeneration, uveitis, and diabetic retinopathy, but quitting at any age can greatly reduce that risk.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses every time you’re out in the sun, regardless of the season. Too much UV radiation can damage your eyes, and the risk is just as great in the winter as it is in the summer.
  • Keep your eyes safe. Sunglasses are not the only protective lenses you should own. If your hobbies or occupation put your eyes at risk from hazardous or airborne materials, it’s important to wear safety glasses or protective goggles. If you play sports that can lead to eye injury, like racquetball, lacrosse, or ice hockey, wear a helmet with a protective face mask or sports goggles with polycarbonate lenses.
  • Look away from the computer. When you stare at a computer for hours on end, it can result in eyestrain, blurred vision, trouble focusing, dry eyes, headaches, and neck, back and shoulder pain. To prevent this, make sure you’re wearing the right glasses or contact lens prescription, and consider talking to your doctor about computer glasses. Keep your eyes level with the top of the monitor, so you’re looking slightly down at the screen, and follow the 20-20-20 rule. This every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. At least every two hours, get up from your computer and take at least a 15-minute break.
  • Have regular eye exams. Seeing an eye doctor every year or two can help catch issues before they become major problems.

If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry or Windham, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

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