January is the time when everyone is focusing on “new year, new you”.  The good news is that many of the classic health resolutions and goals can also directly benefit the health of your eyes.  We want to help you envision a healthier you. Here are some habits for you to incorporate into the new year that can have major benefits to your eye health:

Make Your health a priority:

When was the last time you went to the doctor?  If you don’t make your health a priority, all of the other changes you intend to make in 2019 are irrelevant.  This means making time in your schedule to exercise, eat healthy, going to the doctors (including your eye doctor) and sleep.  Treat these times like appointments on your calendar that can’t be missed or rescheduled. It’s also important to know your family’s health history to determine if you are at higher risk for an eye disease.

Maintain a healthy weight:

Americans spend a lot of time sitting which can result in obesity and diseases related to obesity such as diabetes, COPD and heart disease which can lease to eye diseases such as glaucoma.  The solution is to eat less and move more. Don’t limit your exercise to 30 minutes at the gym, set your timer at work every hour to take a quick walk around the office and stretch your muscles.  For those who don’t like the gym, find some activity that you love so that you will do it more often. Take a dance class, join a basketball team or go for a hike.

Quit Smoking (and other bad habits):

Smoking is bad for your health and can harm your vision.  Smokers have an increased risk of eye related diseases including developing cataracts, macular degeneration, optic nerve damage, and uveitis. The good news is it’s never too late to quit smoking ad regardless of when you quit, you can reduce your risk of vision threatening conditions.

Give your eyes a rest:

Sleep is commonly overlooked as a critical factor to a person’s overall health. Lack of sleep has been linked to higher levels of glucose and insulin storage which is the key ingredient to weight gain. Schedule and maintain a consistent bed time routine that doesn’t include watching TV or scrolling your phone. If your job requires large amounts of screen time, take a quick break every 20 minutes.

Keep hydrated:

Drink water, every day and often.  Just like sleep, water intake has a direct correlation to a person’s overall health.   Keeping hydrated is crucial for your organs to function properly, including your eyes. If you suffer from dry eyes, you are most likely dehydrated.  A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day.

Set your sights on a healthy 2019.  We look forward to providing you with more helpful tips throughout the year!