December 30, 2021

Resolutions for Better Eye Health in 2022

- Beth Daisy, Supervisor of Occupational Therapy

paper cut out in the shape of people with a blind person in the middle

As we begin 2022, are you looking for a New Year’s resolution that is good for you and that is realistic enough that you can actually follow through?

Here are some important tips for better eye health that can be realistic goals for you in 2022. While doing just one is certainly better than doing nothing at all, consider that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Here are 8 tips– and the good news is that they don’t involve countless hours in the gym doing crunches!

Better eye health new year: A man in a blue shirt sitting in an eye exam chair and talking with an eye doctorGet regular eye exams.

Many eye conditions are painless and have little to no symptoms. Only by regularly visiting the eye doctor can you be sure that any problems can be detected—and treated—early. The American Optometric Association recommends eye examinations at least every 2 years for adults ages 18 – 64 who are not at high risk or experiencing symptoms and at least every year for at risk or symptomatic individuals. For adults 65 and older the recommendation is yearly or as directed by your doctor.

Wear protective eye equipment.

Whether working with power tools, painting, or simply taking a walk through the woods, select the proper protective eyewear for your task to prevent impact or splash injuries. Here’s a good website for more information.

Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound styles will offer further protection. Look for glasses that advertise 100% UV absorption.

Take your vitamins. A person holding out their hand with two orange vitamins on their palm.

If you have a condition like Macular Degeneration, follow your doctor’s recommendations like supplementing with AREDS or AREDS 2 vitamins and regular monitoring of the Amsler Grid. Eye vitamins may delay the progression of the disease and monitoring the Amsler Grid may indicate when your condition has changed and it’s time to call the doctor. Here are directions and an Amsler Grid that can be printed and used at home.

Take your prescribed eye medications as directed by your doctor.

Some medications may not improve your vision but may keep your condition from getting worse. Glaucoma eye drops, for example, do not make your vision better but play a very important role in maintaining proper intraocular pressures in your eyes. Read more about eye drops from the AAO here.

Eat right for your sight.

Eat Right for Your Sight Studies have shown that the foods you eat can play a role in maintaining not just good overall health, but promoting good eye health. Natural foods high in vitamins and antioxidants may reduce the risk of certain eye diseases and slow the progression of macular degeneration in those already diagnosed. The Eat Right for Your Sight cookbook has lots of tasty and eye-healthy recipes, and proceeds benefit the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.

Quit smoking.

Smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts and other eye diseases and conditions. The American Lung Association can help you quit.

Better eye health new year: a pair of weights, an apple, a bottle of water, a tape measure, and a towel sitting on the groundMaintain a healthy body weight.

Okay, so while maintaining a healthy body weight doesn’t necessarily mean crunches at the gym, they certainly won’t hurt! Many of the same recommendations for good cardiovascular health also promote good eye health because conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can also affect the eyes. Resolve to get or stay active. Even frequent walking can help shed those unwanted holiday pounds!

So, what will YOU do to promote better eye health in 2022? Let us know in the comments section!