'Spring' into Action with Your Eye Health
Now that winter is finally over, it is that time of year where everyone is busy with activities and chores to reset our lives for the year ahead. With the sun finally out, it feels like an excellent time to take care of our bodies and start afresh! This serves as a friendly reminder to make your vision a priority and include your eye health to the spring 'to do' checklist. Here are some helpful tips to help you protect your eyes and vision while enjoying spring.
1. Schedule an annual eye exam
Having regular eye exams is essential for healthy eyes, as they allow for early diagnosis of sight-threatening eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma etc. These eye conditions don't have symptoms at the early stage but can be detected during a routine eye exam. During an eye exam, by dilating the pupil temporarily, your eye doctor will be able to gain a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula and the optic nerve. These conditions can threaten your good vision and are all best managed if caught early.
2. Wear sunglasses outdoors
Since springtime lures us outside with its fair weather and outdoor activities, it is important to wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun damage.
*Note: There are many sunglasses out there that are “fashion” glasses and do not actually block out the harmful rays—they only provide tinted lenses. Make sure you purchase a pair of glasses that say on the label they protect against “UV 400”. This means the glasses block out all harmful UV rays.
3. Maintain a healthy balanced diet
Good vision and healthy eyes start with what you eat. With the new season comes a fresh crop of fruits and vegetables, so be sure to add these nutrient-packed foods to your diet. To help you get your daily boost of antioxidants and essential nutrients for your eye health, yams, kiwifruit, oranges, leeks and asparagus are a few of the many delicious fruit and vegetables that are now in season during New Zealand springtime.
4. Exercise regularly
Now that daylight saving has begun and the days are becoming warmer, that excuse we've used over the past few months, " it's too cold and dark to exercise today", will no longer suffice! Combining fitness with a healthy balanced diet and yearly eye checkups will boost your defence against serious health conditions in the future.
Over the last decade, several studies have found a connection between sedentary lifestyle and an increased risk of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Just like other parts of your body like your heart, brain and lungs, your eyes are affected by how you take care of your body. For example, since aerobic exercise is known to lower intraocular pressure (IOP), regular, moderate exercise may help prevent glaucoma. Since IOP can be lowered by exercise that raises the pulse just 20-25%, you don't have to be a marathon runner to lower your eye pressure — often, a brisk 20-minute walk just 4 times a week is usually adequate.
Therefore, by making the time for regular exercise, you will find that not only will you have more energy and will feel healthier, but on top of that, you'll also know that you're doing a lot of good for your long-term vision health!
5. Manage those seasonal allergies
If outdoor spring allergens including pollen from trees, flowers, weeds and grass leaves you with itchy, watery eyes, particularly if you rely on contact lenses to see well, to prevent irritation, inflammation and possibly infection, remember not to touch your eyes while wearing contacts. To relieve your symptoms, try a cold compress on your eyes to help with allergy irritation.
If your eyes continue to be itchy and irritated through the season, you may need to take your contacts out for a while – but remember only with clean hands! Additionally, wearing glasses and sunglasses during the springtime helps to prevent pollen from entering the eyes.
Time to book your laser eye surgery consultation?
Dealing with allergies when wearing glasses or contacts can be difficult. It may be time to consider laser eye surgery as an option for long term vision correction. Spring in New Zealand is a great time of year to be outdoors as well as getting more accomplished as we make our way through our 'to-do' list before summer arrives. To start your spring off with better vision, book your free initial laser consultation by calling us on 0800 639393. We look forward to welcoming you this spring!