Top 5 resolutions to preserve your vision in the new year

During the holidays and new years celebrations it is common to reflect upon the blessings we have in our lives as well as to make new years resolutions. In that tradition, it is important not to take for granted your most precious sense, vision. We asked Dr. John Henahan, optometrist at Spectrum Eyecare in Peachtree City for his top resolutions for 2012.

#1 Protect the future of your vision. Vision loss is a leading cause of disability in older Americans. By simply having eye examination periodically, you can ensure that any eye health issues can be addressed before the problem becomes irreversible. Remember, even if you don’t have vision insurance, a medically focused eye exam can usually be billed through your medical insurance.

#2 Wear Sunglasses. Quality polarized sunglasses with UV protection can cut the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and even reduce the risk of skin cancers around the eyes. Additionally, up to 30% of auto accidents are associated with glare induced vision impairment. Polarized sunglasses are far more effective at cutting dangerous glare than tinted lenses alone when driving. Polarized sunglasses are available with and without prescription lenses.

#3 Stop sleeping in your Contact Lenses. Study after study have shown that sleeping in contact lenses is the number one risk factor for serious complications from contact lenses including potentially blinding eye infections called a corneal ulcer. Even if your contact lenses are approved for extended wear, it is much safer to remove them at night.

#4 Throw Away those Contact Lenses (and that Contact Lens Case). After extended wear, keeping contact lenses for too long is the major risk for the aforementioned eye infections. Most contact lenses are meant to be thrown away every two – four weeks. As your contact lens ages, it is less able to provide enough oxygen to the surface of the eye. This oxygen starvation is damaging to the surface of the eye. Have you looked at your contact lens case lately? Older cases are breeding grounds for bacteria. Each time you buy a new bottle of solution, get a new case (some companies even bundle cases with large solution bottles).

#5 Resolve to give up your reading glasses addiction. Are you a reading glasses addict? Have pairs spread around the house, car and office? Always running around looking for a pair when your phone rings, when you need to read a menu, recipe or to check your Facebook status? There is a better way. With a new generation of High-def bifocal contact lenses and eyeglasses you can have good vision all the time, far away, close up and in between. Imagine, no more on and off with readers all day.

Whatever else you may do, resolve to see the best in yourself, others and the world around you recommends Dr. Henahan. Now that is a resolution we can all agree on!

Dr. John Henahan is a fellowship trained doctor of optometry practicing and living in Peachtree City with his wife and two sons. You may call his office at 770 487-0667 or visit him on the web at www.speceye.com.