Kochi : 2023 is here and as we compile our new year’s resolutions, eyecare is not likely to make the list. Increasing cases of progressive diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) has become a concern. AMD is caused by the loss of tissue in the macula and affects the central vision. Although it is more common in the aged, cases of early onset have been reported resulting from several factors including genetics. About 17.6% to 28.9% of diabetics in India suffer from diabetic retinopathy (DR). DR is a result of uncontrolled diabetes that damages retinal blood vessels. It can further cause leakage of fluids into the macula. This is called diabetic macular edema (DME). 1 out of 3 diabetics can develop DME. Since these diseases do not show distinctive symptoms in the early-stage, regular check-ups are paramount. It enables early detection and timely treatment of eye diseases or preventing them from occurring at all.
Dr. Giridhar, Giridhar Eye Institute, Medical Director & Chief Mentor, Cochin says, “The burden of diabetic retinopathy and age-related diseases like “age related macular degeneration” is increasing in India hence timely diagnosis and early detection is of utmost importance. Regularly visiting an optometrist or ophthalmologist can prevent retinal damage, vision loss and blindness by detecting underlying conditions at an early stage. It is important for patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle to effectively manage diabetes and to prevent diabetic related eye diseases.”.
5 new year’s resolutions for healthy vision
Here are 5 lifestyle tips to keep your eyesight healthy:
Smoking can severely damage multiple organs in the body. Cigarette smoking severely damages the immune system and makes you more susceptible to AMD or other eye diseases that can be otherwise prevented. Certain oxidants that are found in the cigarette smoke cause irritation in the cells which activates the immune system and thereby leads to harmful inflammation.
Reduce screen time
Excessive use of phones and computers exposes your eyes to the screen’s blue light that can cause a plethora of problems from dry eyes and fatigue to myopia and AMD, among others. Keep your eyes hydrated and reduce screen time.
A healthy diet is essential to get the vital nutrients for the body to function optimally. Make sure you include vegetables and fruits instead of fast food and candies. Food items like fish, eggs, dairy, oranges, kale, carrots bring antioxidants to the table, to ensure the best health for your eyes.
Regular eye examinations
- Regularly visiting an eye specialist can not only help deal with major diseases but also address smaller issues like dryness and redness of the eyes that affect daily activities. You will also stay aware of your eye condition and be able to manage your ocular health better.
- 20-20-20 rule: We find ourselves staring at screens all day, with this little exercise you can ensure to catch a break and in-turn reduce the stress on your eyes. When it’s been about 20 minutes of staring at a screen, take a break and look at an object, any object at about 20 feet for 20 seconds. It is that simple!
- Make 2023 the year when you start inculcating these healthy practices to preserve vision and prevent eye diseases or further damage.