Happy New Year!
Now that the cookies have been eaten and the champagne has been toasted, many of us now turn our attention on how to improve our health. Some people will make resolutions to lose weight, others will think about exercising more and, others will try to make time for pleasure reading.
Because your eyes and vision are vital to most, if not all, of the resolutions that people make, I have compiled a list of New Year’s Resolutions for Your Eyes and Vision:
The Top Ten 2008 Eye and Vision New Year's Resolutions:
1. Make sure that you have your eyes examined with dilation of the pupils as recommended by your doctor.
Vision changes can be gradual and you many not realize you are having a problem. Many conditions, such as glaucoma, start with no symptoms. Also, diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure are frequently first detected with a dilated eye exam.
2. If you have children, make sure you have their eyes examined.
The recommended age for the first eye exam is 6 months. Children who are in school should have their eyes examined every year (and school and pediatrician vision screenings do not count).
3. If you should be wearing glasses for driving and you're not, just do it.
This is especially true at night, when vision is more difficult and bright lights make it harder to see.
4. If you smoke, quit.
It has been clearly established that smoking can increase the risk of development of conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Seek professional help to quit if needed.
5. Make sure your eyes have adequate UV protection.
Your regular glasses, sunglasses ,and contacts can all have UV protection. Limiting UV exposure reduces the risk of skin cancer of the eyelids, cataracts, and other conditions.
6. Wear your contact lenses no longer than recommended. If you are sleeping in your contacts and your eye doctor did not explicitly fit you in contacts for this purpose, stop.
If you abuse contact lenses, you put yourself at risk of eye infections that are not only painful but also have the potential to result in permanent vision loss.
7. Never “top off” contact lens solutions. Use only the solutions recommended for you.
Never save solution for the next day and add a little more to fill the case. Start each night with fresh solution. The majority of contact serious lens-related infections comes from not taking care of them as recommended. Contacts are medical devices that only work well if they are cleaned regularly and appropriately.
8. Change your contact lens case monthly.
Contact lens cases can contain micro-organisms that are very difficult to remove. The best remedy is to start fresh with a new case. If you need a new one, stop by our office for a free one.
9. When you work at the computer, read, or play handheld games, take visual breaks to limit eyestrain.
Remember the "20/20/20 Rule”: Look up from your work every 20 minutes to an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is can keep you more comfortable and efficient. If you spend a significant amount of time on the computer, glasses specifically designed for the computer can reduce or eliminate eyestrain as well improve comfort of the neck.
10. Ask your eye doctor if nutritional supplements are a good idea for you and your eyes
There have been scientific studies that have shown that certain supplements can be appropriate for certain eye conditions, such as macular degeneration. They might be right for you, but they should only be of high quality and should be recommended by a doctor who knows about your overall health and the medications that you take.
After reading this list of New Years Resolutions, pass it onto a friend or family member you care about. If you need help with any of these, feel free to call 813-792-0637 or stop by the office.
Be Well in 2008!
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.