The start of a new year is a perfect time to plan for taking care of your vision.
Eye health is an important part of your overall wellness, but many people aren’t aware of the things they can be doing to take care of their eyes on a regular basis. Even many people with vision insurance aren’t fully aware of their benefits, or taking full advantage of them!
At Heritage, we believe that the eyes are windows to the soul. We’re committed to making sure that our members are getting top-quality care and the most out of their vision benefits. As the calendar flips over to a new year, you may be considering making some resolutions for 2024. We’d like to suggest a few for you to consider in order to keep your eyes healthy and well cared for.
1. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses.
Ultraviolet or UV rays are associated with a wide variety of vision conditions, some of which are painful but temporary, and some of which can permanently affect your sight. And, UV exposure isn’t just limited to sunny days—you need UV protection on cloudy and cold days too, especially if you’re at higher altitudes or spending a day in the snow.
A pair of UV-blocking sunglasses can help protect your eyes from UV radiation, and can also shield you from debris like sand or snow. For tips on finding the right sunglasses, and more ways to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light, read our article: Why Your Eyes Need Year-Round UV Protection.
2. Eat vision-healthy foods.
If eye health is whole body health, it makes sense that the health of your whole body can also affect your eyes! Plenty of foods provide important nutrients that can impact the health of your vision, and help protect you against eye conditions that become more common with age.
Many people learned as kids that carrots are good for your eyes. That’s because they’re a great source of vitamin A—and sweet potatoes are too! Grains contain selenium, while cold-water fish are full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. And those are just a few sources of eye-healthy nutrients. To learn more about how your diet can help protect your vision in the long term, read The Link between Diet and Eye Health: 7 Foods to Eat.
3. Adopt healthy work habits.
According to the CDC, two thousand people in the United States seek medical treatment every day for eye injuries sustained at work. In industrial work environments, injuries might be caused by debris or chemical exposure—but working at a screen all day can present its own risks, too.
You can protect your eyes by making sure that you wear proper protective gear, like safety eyewear or face shields, and that you check your gear regularly for dirt or damage. Alternatively, if you spend more time in front of a computer screen, you can adjust your workspace and habits to reduce the risk of conditions like eye strain or dry eyes. For more information about protecting your vision at work, read our article: 6 Tips for Protecting Your Eyes and Avoiding Strain at Work.
4. Take advantage of your regular eye exams.
Caring for your vision is crucial not just for the health of your eyes, but for the health of your whole body. Many systemic diseases and conditions often show early symptoms in the eyes, and regular eye exams are a perfect opportunity to catch them.
Cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, and even signs of cancer progression can be identified during your regular eye exam. And both eye-specific conditions and whole-body conditions are easier to treat when caught early. Learn more about the benefits of regular eye exams in our article: What Eye Health Tells Us About Underlying Health Conditions.
Set yourself up for a healthy 2024 by taking advantage of your vision benefits.
There are a lot of things you can do on your own to care for your eyes, but there’s no replacement for a trusted eyecare provider and regular eye exams. Heritage Vision Plans offers access to our nationwide provider network and provider search tool, as well as allowances for eyewear and regular checkups.
You’re entitled to high-quality vision care. Contact your employer to learn more about your plan, and make full use of it for a healthy 2024 and beyond.