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A New Year, A New You

December 19, 2008

Your eyes are the window to the world and keeping them healthy is important. So as you make your New Year’s resolutions this year, consider these helpful hints to ensure you continue seeing clearly.


QUIT SMOKING… Smokers are twice as likely as non-smokers to lose their sight in later life from Advanced Macular Degeneration, the leading cause of sight loss. Stop smoking, or better still don’t start!


LOSE EXCESS WEIGHT… If you are overweight, studies have shown the risk of developing cataracts can double that of people who are not overweight. Extra pounds, especially around the waist, also seem to speed up damage to the macular.


EAT HEALTHY… Eating a diet low in fat but rich in vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables), fruit, nuts and fish can help prevent AMD and cataracts. Using vitamin and mineral supplements for eye health is not generally recommended as a preventative measure as a healthy diet should be sufficient. However, people who have AMD may consider supplementation with vitamins and anti-oxidants but should consult their doctor first.


PROTECT YOUR EYES IN THE SUN… your eyes can be damaged by prolonged exposure to intense sunlight and could lead to AMD and Cataracts. Use quality sunglasses and/or wear a wide brimmed hat in the sun. Limiting UV exposure can also reduce the risk of skin cancer around the eyelids.


BOOK AN EYE EXAM… Of the four leading causes of blindness- cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and mascular degeneration- all but cataracts can progress without your knowing it. Just getting a new prescription for glasses isn’t enough. Be sure to schedule routine eye examinations with a dilation.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to make a New Year’s resolution. Be realistic by setting achievable goals. Make a plan and stick to it, while still remaining flexible.

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