Whether our holiday tables are smaller than usual or we share a grand social meal over video conferencing, this holiday season is sure to be different than usual. But we are all doing our best to celebrate — safely — with those we hold dear. As we celebrate with the holiday season with a wink in your eye, remember that over indulging can have negative effects on your health and your vision.
While you are smiling across the table — or into a screen across the country — at your loved ones, keep them in focus by limiting your sugar intake. When you indulge in foods that spike your blood sugar, it could make your eyes more vulnerable to macular degeneration (AMD).
High blood sugar can also cause a change in your eye’s light sensitivity and even blurriness if you have diabetes. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy and can eventually lead to vision loss. If you know you already have blood sugar concerns or diabetes, it may be reason enough to limit your holiday indulgences and fill up on whole oods and lots of vegetables.
The other indulgence worth mentioning over the holidays is alcohol. After all, celebrating the holidays this time of year is an opportunity to raise your spirits with a glass or two. Feeling that sense of camaraderie and bonding with your loved ones is fantastic — but keep in mind that your eyesight can be affected.
Short-term effects of alcohol consumption on your vision range from a reduction in focus to truly blurry vision. Beyond that, headaches and sensitivity to light in the aftermath are well-known and not at all beloved. You could even have twitchy eyes after drinking (who knew?).
Sadly, there could be longer-term effects of higher alcohol consumption as well, including a higher chance of developing cataracts. So raise a glass but consider switching to water or hot cider after the second toast.
The changing seasons is always a great time of year to reach out and feel connected to our friends and family. After all, the holidays are — usually happily — associated with food indulgences. But for your vision health over the short and long term, it might be a good idea to skip the second helping of pie and beer and go for the turkey and brussel sprouts.
With just a little bit of mindfulness, you can enjoy your holidays while being kind to your vision at the same time.
If you have any concerns about your vision or eye health, find an eye doctor near you who can help you find the best course of action.