Healthy Eyes for the New Year

Jeepers creepers where’d ya get those healthy peepers?

Flip the calendar, turn the page, wipe the slate clean, start fresh – dozens of expressions have been coined to celebrate the feeling of starting something new. You have your eyes for a lifetime. Start following these 7 simple tips in the new year and maintain healthy eyes well into your golden years.

  1. Have an annual eye exam. Eyes aren’t like teeth – there’s usually no pain if something is wrong. Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration often have no warning signs. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages.
  2. Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory – but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When getting sunglasses look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
  3.  Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
  4. Protect those peepers. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports and doing activities around the home. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. If protective eyewear is required as a part of your job make a habit of wearing it at all times.
  5.  Know your family’s eye health history.  Talk to family members about their eye health history – it’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye condition.  Since many are hereditary this will help your optometrist determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease.
  6.  Wash, wash, wash your hands. Prevent eye infections by washing your hands before touching  eyes and before handling contact lenses. Teach children to avoid touching their eyes without washing their hands first.  If you are near someone with red eye, avoid contact around your own eyes until you wash your hands first. You can minimize the likelihood of catching common bacterial or viral eye infections by using anti-infective sprays and cleansers in public areas.
  7.  Have an eye doctor who knows you and the history of your eyes to ensure you get the right care at the right time. Stop by soon and get to know our team of on-site optometrists at Wink – your Neighborhood Optical Center.

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