Ah, the holidays. The beautiful gold leaves from your neighbor’s tree have all fallen into your yard, you’ve got 20 relatives coming for Thanksgiving dinner, but only 15 chairs, and Daylight Saving Time is not saving your sanity as you race to finish your seasonal shopping on ever-shortening days.
With so much to do this time of year, it can be easy to neglect our health – at the time we most need to preserve it.
That’s why we here at Rebuild Your Vision put together some handy holiday tips. Grab a glass of eggnog and take a few minutes away from the holiday madness to read this article on holiday eye health. Raking those leaves can wait!
Winter Weather Woes
Though this year’s winter weather has been unseasonably warm for some, we remind you that overexposure to the winter sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays without proper eye protection can contribute to macular degeneration and cause cataracts or even photokeratitis (like a sunburn of your eye).
And you don’t have to be on the ski slopes to be at risk.
The American Osteopathic Association notes that since many people associate winter with gray skies, they leave sunglasses behind. When the sun comes out unexpectedly, they end up exposed without proper protection. The association warns, “Appropriate eye protection should be worn when shoveling snow, putting up or taking down holiday decorations, or just going for a walk.” (Or when you’re raking those fallen leaves.)
The best way to safeguard vision is to avoid excessive UV exposure.
The AOA recommends lenses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Ski goggles are useful for activities in which debris and snow can blow into the eyes (yard work, shoveling or plowing snow, sports, etc.)
The sun is not winter’s only eye hazard. Cool winds and dry air can irritate eyes, even in warmer climates. Indoor heat tends to eliminate moisture from the air. Artificial tears can help when you’re outdoors, and adding humidifiers throughout the house will increase indoor humidity levels.
Zeaxanthin – Not Just for Thanksgiving Anymore
Roasted butternut squash. Crisp green salad. Creamy corn pudding. Spicy pumpkin pie. Along with turkey, these are some of the dishes we associate with Thanksgiving. But did you know that this holiday fare is also rich in the antioxidant zeaxanthin, a carotenoid found in the eye that plays an essential role in protecting vision and maintaining eye health?
Unfortunately, for many of us holidays are the only times when we eat these foods. Dietary sources of zeaxanthin include kale, collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, corn, brussels sprouts, green beans, okra, zucchini, squash, peas, persimmons and pumpkin. Among these sources, leafy greens come out tops – if you eat the recommended amounts.
When you consider just how important zeaxanthin is to eye health, it’s clear that we need to find more ways to incorporate it into our diets year-round. A daily supplement is the easiest way to ensure you’re getting enough of this vital nutrient.
Rebuild Your Vision’s Ocu-Plus Formula not only contains zeaxanthin, but also 16 other vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements that have been linked to better vision.
It makes a great stocking stuffer too!
Save Your Eyes from Glare During Daylight Saving Time
The Vision Council of America (VCA) reminds drivers that “part of adjusting to Daylight Saving Time means being prepared to face harsh glare on the roads.” The sun’s glare is one of the most overlooked dangers while driving, causing thousands of injuries each year, particularly during morning and evening commutes.
“It may seem like common sense, but most of us are caught off guard by the effect the time change has on our visibility while we’re driving,” notes ophthalmologist Frank J. Weinstock, M.D. “In addition to changing the clocks, there are a few simple things we need to remember this time of year to protect our vision and make sure we’re safe on the road.”
The VCA recommends the following steps to ensure driver safety:
- Lower visors to help block reflected light
- Avoid using high-gloss vinyl cleansers on dashboards
- Keep the car’s windshield clean and the windshield fluid full
- If possible, choose an alternate route to avoid one with extreme glare
- Turn on your headlights so oncoming drivers can see you
- Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses
Have a safe, healthy, happy Thanksgiving!