Make 2019 the year you make good on your New Year’s resolutions. Since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, here are five that focus on eye health.
1. Start the year by scheduling an eye exam. Patients in the early stages of glaucoma usually have no symptoms, no noticeable vision loss and no pain, which is why glaucoma is called the “sneak thief of sight.” By the time symptoms start to appear, some permanent damage to the eye has usually occurred. Early detection is crucial to prevent vision loss.
2. Tell your family about your glaucoma. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, make sure everyone in your family knows about it and understands that they may be at increased risk for the disease.
3. Take your glaucoma medications exactly as prescribed. Though it may seem obvious that patients who don’t take their medication won’t achieve the desired results, too many glaucoma patients take none of their medications, don’t take them all, or take them improperly. If you have a hard time with compliance (the term for following a medication regimen), let your doctor know as soon as possible so you can work together on finding a suitable solution.
4. Commit to exercising regularly. It’s key to staying healthy. It lowers your risk of diabetes, keeps you from being overweight, strengthens your heart and lungs, builds muscle tone … and is good for your eyes! Whether it’s cardio, long walks, a bike ride or running – do something! But remember: check with your doctors before you begin or change an exercise program.
5. Take care of yourself. Eat better this year. Don’t just say you will; make that a solid goal. Doctors and researchers are finding more and more diseases and conditions linked to what you eat. Eat a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables and keep your weight at a healthy level. If you still smoke, stop! Smoking is dangerous. It’s also associated with elevated IOP.
Have a Healthful 2019!