A focus on health for the new year topped the charts in a recent survey about resolutions in a Forbes Health / One poll: 84% of the participants said they are committed to improving their physical and mental health in 2024.

Dr. David Nelson, an eye doctor and Senior Vice President of Professional Services at national optical retailer Eyemart Express, shares easy eye-opening tips to achieve a healthier new year.

First and Foremost

Valuable advice for a healthy start to 2024? Get a comprehensive eye exam.

“Most people are unaware that eye doctors are often the first to find and diagnose health issues ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure, and even diseases like sickle cell anemia,” Dr. Nelson said in a news release. “We can easily see all of the things going on systemically.”

Annual Exams

Annual eye exams are recommended for people of all ages but are particularly important for anyone 40 and older because eye diseases typically begin to develop at that life stage.

And, since January is also Glaucoma Awareness Month, Dr. Nelson weighs in on this eye disease that targets the optic nerve in the back of the eye, causing permanent vision loss and blindness. Nearly half of adults have glaucoma but are unaware that they have this serious eye disease because it does not typically have early warning signs or symptoms until a person starts to lose their peripheral vision.

“Now is the time to get an eye exam and get checked for glaucoma if you haven’t had a comprehensive exam in the last decade,” Dr. Nelson said, adding that an early-detection test for the disease did not exist 10 years ago.

Screen Time Reduction

Lastly, Dr. Nelson recommends reducing screen time or giving the eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet ahead for 20 seconds while using a computer, smartphone, or tablet. This 20/20/20 rule is a helpful way to reduce strain on eye muscles and ensure proper blinking.

“Everyone is staring at their screens and not realizing they are disrupting their blinking pattern,” Dr. Nelson said. “By doing this, you can blink a third less of what is needed and develop dry eyes.”

He also recommends using computer reading glasses that help the eyes focus during a long session of working or scrolling.

Source: Eyemart Express