As you set your health and wellness goals for the new year, make sure you don’t forget about looking after your eye health.Take a look at some of our simple tips to ensure that you maintain healthy eyes all year round:
1. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET
A healthy diet offers many health benefits and is essential to keep your eyes healthy. Research shows that eating nutritious foods and maintaining a healthy diet slows the progression of eye diseases and prevents eye complications especially in people who:
• Have a genetic predisposition to macular degeneration
• Suffer from diabetes
• Are older and therefore more susceptible to eye diseases and disorders
So what are the right foods to keep your eyes in check? The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a great guide outlining what you should be eating for healthy eyes here.
2. KEEP ACTIVE
Studies show that having high blood pressure and diabetes can lead to an increased risk of developing eye disease. Maintaining a healthy weight and keeping active has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure and is good for your general wellbeing. Try to aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise to keep disease at bay!
3. QUIT SMOKING
Smoking can cause damage to the macula and increases your risk of developing macular degeneration – one of the leading causes of blindness in Australia and across the world. The Australian Government estimates that approximately 20,000 Australians suffer from macular degeneration as a result of smoking and around 8,000 of these people are likely to develop legal blindness in both eyes due to smoking.
4. SCHEDULE AN EYE EXAMINATION
Regular eye exams are necessary to maintain good eye health and to keep your overall health in check as they can detect undiagnosed eye conditions and health problems including high blood pressure and diabetes. It is important to remember that some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, are silent in nature and display no symptoms – this can be dangerous for a person waiting to see a change in their vision to make an appointment for an eye examination. Make your eye health a priority and schedule regular eye check-ups today!
5. CHECK THE EXPIRY DATE ON MEDICINE
Check your medicine cabinet and dispose of anything that is old or past its use-by date.
Most medicines slowly deteriorate over time, making them less effective and potentially harmful if consumed or applied. It is important to remember that most eye drops are safe to use for 28 days once opened and should be discarded after this time. Throwing away medicine in your household bin poses a risk to children and pets so make sure you dispose of any unwanted medicine safely by taking it to your local pharmacist who will take care of this for you.
6. THROW OUT OLD MAKEUP
Make sure you throw out old makeup to avoid irritation and infections. It is especially important to discard anything that is applied on or around the eye due to the sensitivity of the area. Mascara should be replaced every three to four months to keep your eyes healthy and safe from eye infections such as sties and conjunctivitis.
7. REDUCE SCREEN TIME
Too much time in front of a computer screen can cause issues to your overall health including your eyes. Staring at a screen for long periods of time can cause fatigue and eye strain and has the potential to damage your eye sight. To prevent eye strain at work, make sure you take regular breaks, look away from your screen approximately every 20 minutes and blink more. For more tips, see here.