If your New Year resolutions include living a healthier lifestyle make sure you include your eye health on the list. Courtesy of the American Academy of Ophthalmology here are 5 easy things you can do to keep your eyes happy and healthy this year.
1. Don’t shower or swim in Contact LensesAcanthamoeba is a parasite that lives in water and can cause a rare but serious eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis. According to the CDC, 85 percent of cases occur in contact lens wearers, one of the main risks being exposure of lenses to water. To avoid this dangerous infection, do not wear contact lenses in showers, hot tubs or when swimming in lakes or pools. Also, never use water to clean or store contact lenses; only use sterile contact lens disinfecting solution and a clean contact lens case.
2. Wash Your HandsConjunctivitis, often called pink eye, spreads fast in schools and dorms. A pink eye outbreak struck more than 1,000 Ivy League college students in 2002. Avoid rubbing the eyes and wash hands with soap to avoid catching and spreading pink eye, not to mention other infections.
3. Give Your Eyes a BreakTo help avoid eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. Because dry eye can also cause painful corneal ulcers, which are open sores on the front part of the eye, blink regularly and fully to keep eyes moist.
4. Don’t Share Eye MakeupHarmless as it may seem, sharing makeup is a surefire way to spread infection such as herpes keratitis among friends. Infection-causing bacteria grow easily in creamy or liquid eye makeup. Stick to your own makeup and throw it away after three months. If you develop an eye infection, immediately toss all of your eye makeup.
5. Get Routine Eye ExamYou may be surprised to learn that yearly eye exams are an easy and important way to protect your eyes and overall health. A routine eye exam can help detect signs of serious health conditions, like diabetes, a brain tumor and high cholesterol. We hope you take your eye health seriously and you have a happy and healthy 2015!