Newswise — For many people, the new year means making New Year’s resolutions to improve health and wellness, such as losing weight or getting more sleep. Habits that help support retina health should be top priorities as well, according to the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS).
Healthy retinas make healthy vision possible, but retina health is often overlooked until visual changes occur, which could lead to vision loss. Fortunately, there are simple steps everyone can take to maintain healthy retinas and ensure good vision for a lifetime.
As 2021 approaches, America’s retina specialists encourage everyone to add these six eye-healthy habits to their list of New Year’s resolutions:
- Get regular dilated retina exams. Many retinal diseases have few noticeable symptoms in the early stages. With regular dilated retina exams, your eye physician can help preserve your sight by detecting symptoms of a retina condition early, before extensive damage occurs.
- Eat nutritious foods including dark, leafy greens and fish. Research shows that consuming a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin has been associated with a lower incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
- Quit smoking. Smoking can lead to vision loss and blindness. In fact, research shows that people who smoke are significantly more likely than non-smokers to develop AMD. To access information and help for quitting smoking, call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or visit SmokeFree.gov.
- Control your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. If you have diabetes, one of the best ways of lowering your risk of vision loss and preventing diabetic eye disease is to closely monitor and manage your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
- Stay active and maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that people who walk for exercise are less likely to develop AMD. Exercise also helps control obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol which benefits eye health.
- Know the symptoms and risk factors for retinal disease. Knowing the risks and catching any early signs of disease can accelerate diagnosis and treatment and help preserve vision from conditions like diabetic retinopathy and AMD. Common adult symptoms for retinal disease include blurred central vision, loss of color vision, distortion or straight lines appearing wavy, and floaters or flashes of light. Common risk factors of retinal disease include older age, family history, smoking, and high blood pressure and cholesterol. Learn more at asrs.org/patients.
Keep your vision top of mind in the new year by adopting healthy habits that support healthy retinas. And if you experience symptoms of a retinal condition, find a retina specialist at asrs.org/FindYourRetinaSpecialist.
The American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) is the largest retinal organization in the world, representing more than 3,000 members in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 63 countries. Retina specialists are board-certified ophthalmologists who have completed fellowship training in the medical and surgical treatment of retinal diseases. The mission of the ASRS is to provide a collegial and open forum for education, to advance the understanding and treatment of vitreoretinal diseases, and to enhance the ability of its members to provide the highest quality of patient care. Learn more at ASRS.org. Like ASRS on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on Twitter for the latest retina health information.