Your eyes are some of the most delicate and valuable organs in your body, so it’s crucial to take good care of them. As we prepare to enter the new year, now is the time to start making healthy lifestyle changes that will positively impact your vision. If you are looking to build a new eye care routine going into 2023, the following habits may be worth considering.
1. Protect Your Eyes from Blue Light
As our society becomes more connected to technology, we need to be proactive in protecting ourselves from blue light. In today’s digital world, blue light is everywhere. Whether we are working on our computers or scrolling through social media, it’s often difficult to avoid the glare of digital screens. Blue light causes eye strain and may even lead to long-term vision problems.
Therefore, taking the necessary steps to protect your eyes from blue light is vital. You can start by investing in a pair of computer glasses that specifically filter out blue light and being mindful of how much time you spend in front of digital screens each day.
2. Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Regular eye exams are essential to maintaining good vision. Eye exams help detect eye diseases, such as glaucoma before they become more serious. Eye exams also help determine if you need corrective lenses or a new prescription for contacts or glasses. At Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, we recommend scheduling an eye exam at least once a year to keep your eyes and vision healthy. During your visit, we will provide comprehensive eye care services, including routine exams and vision tests.
3. Avoid Smoking Cigarettes
As most of us know, smoking is detrimental to our health in many ways. But did you know that it may also cause vision problems? Smokers are up to three times more likely to develop cataracts than nonsmokers. Furthermore, those who smoke are twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is a serious eye condition that damages your central vision making tasks such as reading and driving more difficult. Therefore, if you want to preserve your vision, it’s imperative to quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible. Quitting smoking is not easy, but there are many resources available to help you kick the habit.
4. Focus on Injury Prevention
Any injury to the eye may have a lasting impact on your vision. Eye injuries can range from minor cuts and scrapes to more serious issues that may lead to permanent vision loss. When playing sports or participating in any activity where there is a risk of injury, such as welding, carpentry, or even mowing the lawn, it’s important to wear protective eyewear. It is possible for some injuries to impact your vision well after the incident has passed. For example, you may develop astigmatism years after an eye injury has occurred. Therefore, if you have suffered an eye injury, be sure to visit your eye care provider immediately, even if the symptoms seem minor.
5. Wear Contacts Correctly
If you wear contact lenses, it’s important to use them properly to avoid any damage or infections. Take the time to read all instructions carefully before wearing your contacts, and follow all safety protocols. Although there are extended wear options, it is not recommended that you sleep in contacts. Always wash your hands before putting your contacts in or taking them out, and only use contacts prescribed to you.
There are many decorative lenses that can be bought over the counter, but they could be unsafe and cause permanent damage to your eyes. If you want to change the color or appearance of your eyes, speak to an eye doctor first.
6. Give Your Eyes a Break
Your eyes are one of the most overworked parts of your body. When you’re feeling tired, give them a break and get some rest. Take a few moments throughout the day to close your eyes and relax or take a short walk outside to clear your mind.
Additionally, try following the 20/20/20 rule, which recommends taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. If you spend most of your day in front of a computer, you probably know how uncomfortable it may be for your eyes. The 20/20/20 rule is a great way to reduce eye strain and keep your eyes healthy.
7. Protect Yourself from the Sun
Too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays may damage your eyes and increase your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, or other eye diseases. Make sure you wear sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection whenever you go outdoors. Your sunglasses should fit snugly around the sides of your face to keep out the maximum amount of UV rays. If you plan to be outdoors for extended periods, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat or other head covering for added protection.
Preserve Your Vision with Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
At Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, we understand the importance of keeping your eyes healthy. We offer a variety of services to help you preserve and protect your vision. From annual eye exams to treating eye conditions, our experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists are here to provide you with quality eye care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and make your vision a priority in 2023.