6 Eye Health Resolutions for the New Year

woman with glasses

It’s time for making New Year resolutions and at least one of them should be about your eye health. Consider these facts:

  • Many eye diseases can be cured, or at least slowed, with early detection.
  • Headaches, neck and shoulder pain can sometimes be a sign that you need eyeglasses.
  • Some eye symptoms can be connected to more serious medical conditions.

By resolving to take care of your eyesight, you’re resolving to care of your whole body. Here are some resolutions to think about:

1. Get Your Eyes Checked

Regular eye exams help detect eye diseases and let you know if you need glasses or to change your prescription. Talk to your eye doctor about how often you should get your eyes checked: The recommended frequency of exams varies according to your age and whether you have a history of eye problems.

2. Develop an Eye Rest Routine

Constant exposure to computer, smartphone and tablet screens causes eye strain. Be sure to regularly move away from the screen and look off into the distance for 30 seconds or so. If you need to, set a timer to remind you to do this throughout the day.

3. Wear Activity-Appropriate Eye Protection

Many activities present dangers to our eyes, including sports, construction work and even some crafts. If you are in a situation where your eyes are exposed to chemicals, flying/swinging objects (such as balls, bats, tennis rackets or bits of wire during jewelry making) or you are at risk of crashing into a floor (such as on the basketball court), make sure you are wearing protective eyewear. If you aren’t sure what kind of eyewear is right for you, talk to your doctor.

4. Protect Your Eyes Against UV Exposure

Sun exposure can cause eye strain, ocular melanoma, and eye damage. At minimum, wear glasses with a anti-UV coating and strongly consider wearing sunglasses whenever you are out in the sun. For extra protection, use facial moisturizers, concealers and foundations that contain sunscreen.

5. Practice Good Eye Hygiene

Poor eye hygiene can lead to inflammation of the eyelid, a condition known as blepharitis. If you wear eye makeup, use eye makeup remover at the end of the day. If you don’t use eye makeup, you should still keep the eye area clean by using a gentle cleanser around the eyes. 

6. Throw Out Old Eye Makeup

Old and contaminated eye makeup can cause eye irritation and infections. Toss mascara after it’s been open for three months. Dump eyeshadows, eye creams and eyeliners after 6 months. If a product’s container has been damaged, toss the product to avoid applying a contaminated product to your eye area.

Have a happy, safe and healthy 2014!