Vision Health Checklist for 2021
As 2020 draws to a close, many of us are looking ahead to 2021 and hoping for a better, brighter new year. Most years, New Year’s Day comes and goes, along with a slew of resolutions and promises that we make to ourselves, many of which are abandoned or forgotten by mid-February. However, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that, even in the face of challenging circumstances beyond our control, it’s crucial that we take charge of that which is within our grasp and make a commitment to ourselves and our health.
A commitment to health means different things to different people, but no matter what your health goals are for next year, vision health should be a part of that plan. Many people with good eyesight unintentionally take their vision for granted. Many are so accustomed to simply opening their eyes and seeing the world around them that it doesn’t cross their minds that vision is something that needs maintenance and care.
As you consider your New Year’s health resolutions, this checklist can help you think about ways to be proactive about your eye health in 2021.
Eat Eye-Healthy Foods
A healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods is one of the simplest ways that you can help your vision. Some of our favorite eye-healthy foods include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Citrus fruits and berries
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
While the connection between exercise and vision may not be immediately apparent, staying physically active is actually pretty important for maintaining healthy eyes. The main benefit that physical activity brings to vision is that it increases blood flow to the optic nerve and retina, making them both healthier and stronger. Exercise also helps regulate conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for conditions like age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
Upgrade Your Habits
Eating healthy and exercising regularly are definitely two of the biggest upgrades you can make to your lifestyle, but why stop there? Other aspects of your life that can help you maintain your vision and overall health include the following:
- If you’re a smoker, quit. Smoking is a risk factor in just about every illness, including vision problems. Not only does smoking decrease retinal blood flow, but it can also cause structural damage to the retina and iris.
- Focus on reducing stress. While there will always be stress-inducing triggers in the world, you can lower your stress by participating in hobbies such as meditation, painting, reading, or hiking.
- Protect your eyes from UVB rays from the sun. Always be sure to wear sunglasses or hats that protect your eyes from UV rays.
Finally, one of the biggest favors you can do for your vision health in 2021 is to get your eyes examined, especially if you’re at risk of developing a serious eye condition. To learn more about eye health or schedule an appointment with a retina specialist, contact Austin Retina today.