January is the time when many of us make resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more. If you are thinking of making some positive lifestyle changes for the new year, there are plenty of ways you can include your eyes too.
We all know that too many ambitious resolutions are hard to keep, but luckily there are some really easy things you can do to keep your eyes in tip-top shape.
Here are ten of our favourite resolutions for healthy eyes in the new year.
New year, new habits for eye health
1. Book your next eye examination
Opticians would recommend that adults get their eyes tested every two years.
A regular eye examination can check for changes to your vision, but also detect diseases such as:
High blood pressure
In very rare cases, even tumours.
Book an eye test if you notice any changes to your eyesight or if you are experiencing any symptoms that concern you.
Your optician can send you a reminder when you are due for your next check-up so that you don’t forget to make an appointment.
2. Talk to family about their eye health
Make eye health part of your conversations about the family’s medical history, as some eye conditions, like Glaucoma, can be hereditary.
A regular, thorough eye exam will enable your optician be able to check your eye pressure and monitor any changes to the health of your eyes since your last visit.
3. Make time for a new look in the new year
A haircut and updated wardrobe aside, there are other ways you can refresh your look in the new year.
If you have fallen out of love with your current frames, your optician will be able to help you find a new pair of glasses that suit your colouring and face shape.
There are many different eyewear shapes, styles and colours to choose from and your independent optician is likely to stock brands that cannot be found anywhere else on your high street.
4. Try contact lenses for the first time
As an alternative to glasses, contact lenses have many advantages especially for people who take part in sport, leisure activities or are generally on the go.
Lenses can be worn all day or just for special occasions as and when required.
Whether you are tempted to update your look or would like to see how contact lenses could enhance your life, speak to your optician about trying contact lenses. They can talk you through the best options available to you based on your needs and lifestyle.
5. Make healthier food choices to benefit your eyes
Your eyes will thank you for a healthy diet. The new year is the perfect time to introduce some of our eyes favourite foods.
Increase your intake of fruit and veg, especially those leafy greens, and oily fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel, as they all contain nutrients which will give your eye health a boost.
Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that can reduce the risk of eye conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma.
Learn more about eating for eye health:
A guide to the best vitamins for eyesight
What are the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin for eyes?
6. Practice healthy hand hygiene
Simple yet effective in protecting you from all kinds of nasties - including eye infections - the health benefits of washing hands regularly should not be overlooked.
Especially important if you are a contact lens wearer, ensure your hands are clean before handling lenses or rubbing or touching your eye area.
7. Overhaul your makeup bag
Dirty, old cosmetics can harbour all kinds of germs, so give your makeup bag a regular revamp to prevent infections from happening.
Products such as eyeliner and mascara have a recommended Period After Opening symbol printed on them; usually 6, 12 or 24 months. These guidelines are there to remind us to not keep cosmetics longer than we should.
And of course, not sharing your eye makeup with others will help to keep your eyes free from infection.
8. Reduce screen time
In our always-on culture, many of us spend a large portion of our days staring at screens. Too much screen time can lead to eye strain, with symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches and burning eye causing us discomfort.
To avoid eye strain, take regular breaks away from your computer or mobile device. Encourage the kids to look away from their devices and follow the 20-20-20 rule:
Every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds!
9. Quit smoking
As if you needed another reason to stop smoking in the new year, studies show that smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts and age related macular degeneration.
Learn more about the effects of smoking on your eye health in this article.
10. Protect your eyes from the sun
Be smart and wear protective eye wear in high-glare conditions such as snow or sun.
Sunglasses protect our eyes from UV light, which can be harmful to the eye, especially for prolonged periods, or as an accumulation over years of exposure.
By wearing sunglasses, not only will you protect the fragile skin around your eyes (no thank you, crows feet!), but your eyes too.
UV light is still present even on cloudy days, so pick a pair of sunglasses that you love and wear them regularly. If you require a prescription lens, speak to your local optician who can recommend the best sunglasses lenses for your prescription in frames that do not compromise your style.
Make healthy eyes a part of your new year’s resolutions
Our eyes deserve the same care that we dedicate to the rest of our body, so hopefully you have seen just how easy it is to include a promise to your eyes in your new year’s resolutions.
If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your eyes or would like any advice on finding your new look for the new year, ask for help from your optician.