New Year’s Resolutions to Improve Eye Health
The start of a new year brings plenty of opportunities to make positive changes in our lives! Some people decide they want to improve their diets or exercise more to get into better shape, while others resolve to prioritize their mental health more or perform daily acts of self-care.
While all of these resolutions are great, at Key-Whitman Eye Center, we wanted to share a few tips from our area of expertise: eye care. Most people only think about their eyes when something is wrong. In a lot of cases, these problems can be prevented by doing little things to care for your eyes every day.
Here are some tips for achieving better eye health in the New Year.
Schedule Annual Eye Exams
A lot of people only see their eye doctor if they need a new prescription for glasses or contacts or if their eyes are irritated. While you should definitely visit your doctor under these circumstances, it’s important to have a routine eye exam at least once a year, even if your eyes seem fine.
During your exam, your eye doctor can not only check how well you see but also look for progressive conditions, like cataracts, that can hinder your vision if not treated. In a comprehensive eye exam, you will be tested for glaucoma and other “silent” eye diseases that can rob you of your vision. It’s important to identify early signs of eye health issues, to minimize or avoid permanent damage to your vision.
If you only need a new prescription, you’ll leave with that and the peace of mind that your eye health is on the right track.
Take a Break from Digital Screens
In today’s digital world, it seems like we’re always staring at a cell phone or computer screen. You probably are not aware that blue light coming off those screens cause eye strain and fatigue. No wonder your eyes feel tired at the end of the day. Did you know blue light can also interfere with your circadian rhythm and make it hard for you to fall asleep at night? It’s true.
We understand it is unrealistic to give up screens entirely, but research shows you can benefit from controlling how much and when your eyes are exposed to blue light.
Wear Blue Light Glasses
These glasses block blue light rays from reaching your eyes, helping reduce eye strain as you work.
Improve Your Screens
Especially if you spend long periods of time staring at a screen, consider changing your settings or getting a blue-light regulation app to reduce the amount of blue light being emitted.
Set a Time Limit
Give yourself a certain amount of time before you get up and give your eyes a break from the screen. As you get closer to bedtime, stop using your phone or laptop a couple of hours before you plan on falling asleep.
Remove Your Eye Makeup At Night
It may be tempting to go straight to sleep after a long day of work or dinner with friends, but you shouldn’t do so without taking off your eye makeup. All of that mascara, eyeliner, and eye shadow can cause a crusty buildup along your lash line and block your glands, which can lead to a stye. If you’ve ever had the pain and discomfort of a stye, you know it’s worth the extra time to take off your eye makeup to prevent one.
Wearing UV Protective Lenses
Even if the weather outside calls for clouds, UV rays can still shine through and damage your eyes. Whether you’re going to be driving around town or strolling through your neighborhood, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Don’t Overwear Your Contacts
While contacts are a convenient way to improve your vision, if you don’t wear them as directed, you can experience a number of problems. As your contacts remain overworn and under-cleaned, bacteria can grow and cause you to experience dry eyes, pink eye, or more serious problems.
Warning: never use your saliva to moisten your contacts before putting them in your eyes. You may not realize it, but the natural bacteria in your saliva can cause serious eye infections.
Contact abuse can be dangerous, so make sure you wear your contact lenses as directed, take them out each night, and clean them each day with the proper solution.
Expert Eye Care in Dallas
Year after year, Key-Whitman Eye Center doctors have been recognized as “Best in Dallas,” “Best in Plano” and “Best in Arlington” by their peers in D magazine. From eye exams to leading-edge technology to improve vision, the doctors and staff serve patients all over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. We are dedicated to treating every patient with respect and care to help you achieve your best vision possible.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our seven convenient locations.