Use this checklist to help maintain (or maybe improve) your vision and eye health throughout the autumn and winter months. 

  • Autumn
    • Rest your eyes. If you’re spending more time indoors on a computer, or sit in front of a computer at work, remember to rest your eyes. Follow the “20-20-20” rules — take a break every 20 minutes and look at something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds — to reduce your risk of computer vision syndrome.
    • Shopping. Planning to take advantage of the deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Remember to include new eyewear on your shopping list. Let your child pick a frame, and have an optician make sure it fits properly. It’s a good idea to purchase a back-up pair, too, in case of accidents. While you’re shopping for new eyewear, consider buying a low vision aid for any friends or family who have impaired vision. Gift ideas like portable magnifiers or distance vision aids can change someone’s life.
    • Stay active. Don’t let the colder weather keeps you from exercising regularly. Staying active is good for your entire body and can help protect against diabetes, macular degeneration and more.
    • Drink lots of water. The fall season brings with it lots of yummy coffee and hot cocoa flavors, but don’t forget to continue to drink lots of water. If you don’t drink enough water, you can dehydrate your body and in turn not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Eye-related symptoms of dehydration include redness, dryness and puffy eyelids.
  • Winter
    • Eat healthy. The holidays can be especially tempting for poor diet choices. Make sure you eat plenty of leafy greens, colorful fruits and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids for good eye health. Need recipe ideas? Click here for eye-healthy recipes from optometrists.
    • Quit smoking. No butts about it: Smoking is harmful to almost every organ in your body, including your eyes. Those who smoke are up to four times more likely to go blind in old age. If you are a smoker, make a New Year’s resolution to kick the habit.
    • Give the gift of vision. During the gift-giving season, consider donating to a vision charity that provides vision care and eyeglasses to people in need.
    • Vision insurance. If you have vision insurance and health savings benefits that expire at the end of December, be sure to use them in time. This also is a good time to schedule your family’s eye exams for the New Year and take advantage of insurance benefits that cover exams, glasses and contact lenses.
    • Cosmetic surgery. If you look older than you feel, eyelid surgery can correct droopy eyelids or puffy bags under your eyes — giving you a younger appearance and, in some cases, even better vision. Schedule a consultation with an eye surgeon if you’re interested in learning more about cosmetic surgery.
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