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A new year means you will be one year older. While getting older has its perks, one of them is not the deterioration of your eyesight. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 1/3 of Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease by age 65. Early treatment of eye disease can often slow or stop vision loss altogether.
In light of the new year, make one of you resolutions taking care of your eyes. Here are 5 ways that you can best care for your eyes to keep your vision safe in 2019:
- Know your risk – We all have ignored our family medical history over the years, but it is especially important to find out as much as you can about your family’s medical history and tell Dr. Matzkin at your next eye exam appointment because some eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma are hereditary and can be directly linked to our genetics.
- Get your eyes checked – Once you turn 40, it is essential to have an annual, thorough medical eye exam. Often, early signs of eye disease and any changes in vision may occur without any obvious symptoms following the entry into our fourth decade of life.
- Don’t smoke – If you are a smoker, a new year is the time to stop, not just for your lung health, but for your eye health too. Smoking increases the risk of cataracts and other forms of age-related macular degeneration. It also raises your risk for cardiovascular diseases that can end up damaging your eyes. Finally, secondhand smoke can negatively affect the eyes of those around you by causing dry eye and discomfort.
- Resolve to eat right – Aside from weight loss, your eyes can benefit greatly from a healthy diet that is low in fat and contains a large amount of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Some food that are especially good for you eye health are nuts, dark green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
- Wear sunglasses – Sunglasses and hats are not just fashion statements, they also help prevent exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Prolonged exposure to UV light from the sun can increase the risk of cataracts, so it is vital to wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection, as well as a hat.
The health of your eyes is important. The new year is a great time to make resolutions that will benefit your overall health, but have an especially great benefit to prolonging the health of your eyes and your vision.