A new year quite often brings about new hopes for ourselves. People make resolutions at the start of a new year to signify changes they want to make in their lives. Most resolutions have obvious benefits. However, some have the hidden benefit of protecting your vision as well. Healthy vision is important in all areas of life, so if you plan on making a change in 2022, why not try one of these resolutions with double the perks!
Resolutions that Protect your Vision
While there are endless possibilities for new years’ resolutions, the following can also contribute to overall healthier vision.
- Quit Smoking – Of all the new year’s resolutions, this is one of the most common by far. There are so many health benefits to giving up cigarettes. But people often do not realize how smoking can affect your vision. People who smoke have an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome. Quitting is definitely not easy, but it can vastly improve your eye health.
- Eat healthier – Eating healthy usually means cutting back on the junk food and adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet. As it happens, fruits and vegetables contain a number of vitamins and minerals that are known to be beneficial to your vision. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C and beta carotene can be found in fish, nuts, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, carrots and potatoes. These important nutrients can reduce the risk of eye problems like dry eye, macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Exercise more – Getting more exercise can certainly help you get back into those favorite pants. But research has shown that regular exercise can also promote healthy vision and protect against eye damage. There is a strong correlation between obesity and major eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, losing extra weight can help to decrease the risk of developing one of these dangerous issues. Additionally, cardio exercise increases the flow of blood to the optic nerve and retina, which can help sustain healthy vision.
- Get outside more often – Getting out in the fresh air can lift your spirits, reduce stress and even make you more focused. And on top of those great benefits, getting outside can help improve your vision! Indoor lighting can cause increased strain on your eyes, which can cause lasting damage over time. Additionally, being outside means less time in front of a digital screen, which can lower the risk of computer vision syndrome (also known as digital eye strain).
One Bonus Resolution
The above resolutions are all great choices to live a better, healthier lifestyle, and take care of your vision at the same time. But one additional promise you should make to yourself in this new year, and each year after that, is to get regular eye exams. Many eye diseases are manageable and even completely treatable if detected early enough. Your vision is so important to your overall quality of life, so you should do everything you can to protect it. Don’t wait – give us a call at 630-862-2020 to schedule your vision exam and get started on a very happy new year!
For many people, driving at night is no more difficult than driving during the day. But for others, nighttime driving presents additional challenges that they don’t experience when the sun is out. For example, certain vision issues can cause people to see halos around lights or increased glare on the roads. Additionally, they might experience blurred or clouded vision or eye fatigue when driving after dark.
If you experience difficulty driving at night, it may be due to one of the following reasons.
The answer to your vision problems at night may be as simple as nearsightedness, or myopia, which causes objects in the distance to be blurred. People with myopia often have difficulty driving at night. If this is the case, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses could be the solution you need to restore your nighttime vision.
Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. This cloudiness causes things to become blurry, hazy or less colorful. Driving at night with cataracts is especially difficult, as they can cause light sensitivity, especially with oncoming headlights, as well as overall problems seeing in dark conditions. Glasses or contact lenses can help improve the symptoms of cataracts. However, if symptoms progress, surgery to remove them is also an option.
Vitamin or Nutrient Deficiency
Perhaps surprisingly, a lack of certain vitamins or minerals can have an effect on the ability to see clearly while driving at night. Vitamin A helps keep the retina healthy, and can be found in carrots and green leafy vegetables. People with low levels of Vitamin A, as is often the case for those with Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, often experience night vision issues. Additionally, a zinc deficiency reduces the positive effects of Vitamin A in the eye, which can contribute to poor night vision. Increasing these important nutrients might help to alleviate some difficulty while driving at night.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disorder that affects the retina and how it responds to light. Although rare, a main side effect of this disorder is loss of night vision. While your vision may be normal during the day, it may take longer to adjust to the dark, thereby making driving at night much more difficult. A more common retinal disease that can affect night vision is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). One of the first signs of AMD is difficulty seeing at night, which happens during the early stages of this disease. It is important to visit your eye doctor as the first sign of night vision problems, so eye diseases can be detected and treated as early as possible.
Driving at night without proper visual skills can be an obvious safety hazard. If you feel like it is becoming more difficult to see clearly on the road when the sun goes down, please come see us for a vision evaluation. We have the appropriate tests to determine the cause of your nighttime vision problems, as well as effective treatment options to help improve your symptoms. Family Vision Development Center provides a wide range of eye care services for the whole family in a safe, comfortable environment. Give us a call at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment today.