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New Year's Resolutions for An Eye Healthy 2014

ytsSNcyThe New Year is a time to start fresh and renew our commitment to health, happiness and success. It’s important to include eye and vision health and safety in these resolutions. Here are the top six ways you can make your eyes and vision a priority this year.

  1. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam for each member of your family.

A comprehensive eye exam will ensure not only that your vision is at its best, but will also screen for any eye disease or issues with your eye health. In many cases of eye disease and damage, early detection is essential for treatment and preservation of eyesight.  

  1. Protect your eyes from the sun all year round.

Harmful UV and HEV (high-energy visible) radiation from the sun, and potentially from computer screens and digital devices as well, have been linked to serious eye conditions including macular degeneration, cataracts and non-cancerous and cancerous growths in the eye and eyelids. When you’re outdoors, make sure you wear sunglasses that are 100% protective from these harmful rays. Indoor clear lenses coatings are now available to protect from HEV light.

  1. Know your eye health risk factors.

Knowing who is at risk and catching the signs early are essential to preventing common vision threatening diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. Being aware of your family history, race, gender and lifestyle and how those factors can contribute to eye diseases, can help you help your doctor to keep a close eye on any signs of disease before it is too late.

  1. Take proper care of contact lenses.

Contact lenses can be one of life’s greatest conveniences but if not cared for properly, they can cause serious and debilitating problems for your eyes. Don’t risk infections, abrasions or even vision loss by skimping on the necessary steps to clean and store your contact lenses. Here is a short video about proper contact cleaning and storage for demonstration purposes only: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNOJ6RM-tts. Always follow your eye doctor’s instructions for care.

  1. Use proper eye protection for sports or work that poses a danger to your eyes.

According to Prevent Blindness America hospital emergency rooms treat more than 700 000 work related eye injuries, 125 000 eye injuries that occur at home and 40 000 sports related eye injuries a year.  Almost all of these injuries can be avoided with proper eye protection. Speak to your eye doctor about your work, hobbies and athletic activities to determine the best protective eyewear for your needs.

  1. Incorporate eye healthy foods in to your regular diet.

Foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants play an essential role in the health of your eyes. Research shows that a proper diet can reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye problems. Eat foods that are rich in beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (such as spinach, kale, red/orange peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash), bioflavonoids (such as tea, red wine, citric fruits, blueberries, cherries, legumes, soy products), Omega-3 Fatty Acids (cold water fish, ground flaxseeds, walnuts) and fruits, vegetables and other foods rich in vitamins A, C and D.  Zinc is also linked to eye health and found in foods such as oysters, beef and dark meat turkey. 

Start the year off right with your eyes on your mind. These six resolutions will not only help you see a wonderful year, but will help you preserve healthy eyes and vision for a lifetime.

PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY

We have been working very hard to prepare to re-open for normal "routine" preventive eye care, taking every precaution to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We are pleased to announce as of Monday May 18th we'll be seeing patients for all types of eye care, including routine annual eye exams.

But, things will be very different than they were prior to the pandemic.

1. Our front door will be locked at all times. We will be allowing only 1 person at a time in the office and by appointment only, so please enter alone, or with no more than l other person accompanying you. Others may wait in the car.

2. Masks will be required for both patients and us while in our office.

3. Upon entering, we will be checking your temperature and screen you for COVID symptoms or possible exposure. If your temperature is 100 F or higher, or you have symptoms or may have recently been exposed to COVID, we will reschedule you.

4. We will need you to respect the 6 feet personal distancing while outside the exam room

5. We will have you wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer when you enter. We will be using hand washing and hand sanitizer constantly and will be disinfecting everything you and we touch. Please don't touch anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

6. For frame selection or picking out glasses, please let us help you, and don't just browse and try on frames by yourself. We have to disinfect the frames every time they are touched or worn, and we need to know which frames need to be disinfected.

We are doing all these things to protect you and all of our other patients as best we can. We will need and depend on your cooperation on this during this very difficult time. Doing so will protect your fellow patients-many of whom are at extremely high risk if they contract COVID - and to protect us. All healthcare providers are putting themselves in harm's way every day during this pandemic - the more we all cooperate and take appropriate precautions, the better off we all will be.

We are all in this together. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation.

Please stay safe.

Dr. Jim Hutchins and staff