Dr. Dan’s 2020 New Year’s Eyeball Resolutions.

New year's FireworksOnce again, here are my suggestions for 2020 New Year’s Resolutions to keep your eyesight sharp, and your eyes comfortable all year long:

  • Everyone: Have regular eye exams.  Don’t forget how important it is to have healthy eyes.
  • Computer users:  Take frequent breaks and don’t forget to blink.   Your blink rate drops significantly while you are on the computer.  BLINK, BLINK, BLINK.
  • Smokers: This year again, stop smoking.  Smoking increases your risk for both cataracts and age related macular degeneration.
  • Contact lens wearers: Don’t sleep in your contact lenses and replace your disposable contact lenses regularly .
  • Everybody: Watch your weight and your blood pressure.
  • Diabetics: Control your blood glucose.  Diabetics have an increased risk for diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma.
  • Everybody: Take a daily multi-vitamin loaded with antioxidants.
  • Athletes: Use protective eye wear made of durable polycarbonate lenses.
  • Everybody: Wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
  • Everybody: Know your family history for glaucoma and other eye disorders.
  • Travelers: Frequently apply artificial tears when in-flight.  That long flight to Las Vegas will dry yours eyes. They don’t call it the “red eye” for nothing.
  • Young males: Stay away from firecrackers this New Year’s.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year. See all of you in 2020.

Back to School Checklist Should Include an Eye Exam

Remember to schedule your child’s back to school comprehensive eye exam early. September brings a rush of students scheduling appointments and wanting to achieve their best academic work, which means they need to see well. Your child’s eye exam should be part of any back to school checklist.

Eat eye-healthy foods

Carrots
It’s true: carrots are good for your eyes! In fact, a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale — can help keep your eyes healthy.

Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. If you are having trouble maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor.

Protective eye wear

Wear protective eyewear.

Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

Have a Safe 4th of July

fireworks

July Fourth is nearly here and everyone in Honolulu is looking forward to the fireworks.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least five fireworks-related deaths were reported in 2018. An estimated 9,100 injuries due to fireworks were treated in hospital emergency rooms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. Of those, most injuries were from firecrackers, but sparklers and bottle rockets also were to blame. More than a third (36%) of the injuries were to children 15 years of age and under. Most of the injuries involved hands and fingers, the head (including face, eyes, and ears), legs and arms.

To help prevent eye injuries during fireworks season, we recommend the following tips to help protect and preserve eyesight during the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Discuss fireworks safety with children and teens prior to the Fourth of July holiday.
  • Do not allow kids to handle fireworks, and never leave them unsupervised near fireworks.
  • Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks of any kind.
  • Store fireworks, matches and lighters in a secure place where children won’t find them.
  • Refrain from purchasing sparklers. Heating up to 2,000 degrees or hotter, sparklers are the No. 1 cause of firework injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and only light fireworks when family, friends and children are at a safe distance.

If an eye injury occurs, immediately seek medical attention from your local doctor of optometry or the nearest emergency room,  You should refrain from rubbing their eyes or applying pressure. Don’t attempt to remove any objects that may be stuck in the eye, and avoid taking pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin that may thin the blood.”

Make Vision a Health Priority

With today’s medical advances, more and more people are living longer and celebrating good health: They are eating healthy foods, they are staying active, they are controlling their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and they are not smoking.

Woman getting an eye examPractice good eye health … Make vision a health priority by seeing your eye care professional

Feeling good and living life to its fullest also means taking good care of your eyes. Even if you enjoy relatively good vision now, visiting your eye care professional once a year is the best thing you can do to care for your eyes. Getting an eye exam is more important now than ever before, because as you get older, you are at higher risk of developing several age-related eye diseases and conditions, including—

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Cataract
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Glaucoma

In their early stages, these diseases often have no warning signs or symptoms. In fact, the only way to detect them before they become serious and cause vision loss is through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. Fortunately, if your eye care professional catches and treats these conditions early, he or she can protect your eyesight.

What is a dilated eye exam?

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is important to maintain and protect healthy vision. During this exam, drops are placed in the eyes to dilate or widen the pupils (the round opening in the center of the eye). The eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine the retina (the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye) and optic nerve (the bundle of fibers that send signals from the retina to the brain) for signs of damage and other eye problems.

Take charge of your vision

In addition to seeing your eye care professional routinely, you can do the following things to protect your vision:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish
  • Exercise
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat anytime you are outside in bright sunshine
  • Wear safety eyewear when working around your house or playing sports

Information and resources

The National Eye Institute (NEI) is part of the National Institutes of Health and the federal government’s lead agency for vision research that leads to sight-saving treatments, and it plays a key role in reducing visual impairment and blindness. For more information, visit the NEI Website at www.nei.nih.gov