Did you know that the average person blinks 15-20 times per minute? That means … 1,200 times per hour, 28,800 times a day—multiply that by 365 days and your eyes have blinked 10,512,000 times in the year 2017.

2017 was a year of many firsts and maybe even some lasts. In 2017, you have experienced a lot. Maybe a new city, country, smells, adventures, friends and so much more. 2017 might be the year you will never forget—or maybe the one you would like to forget. And who’s been with you through it all? Your eyes. And we can thank our eyes for the memories formed in the year 2017 that will stay with us for years to come.

One of the most iconic memories of the year 2017 that people will never forget is the solar eclipse in August. North America experienced a rare sighting as a total solar eclipse swept across the continental U.S. from Oregon to Georgia. Doctors were pleasantly surprised to find that only a few patients requested attention to their eyes after the eclipse. And out of these patients doctors found very little signs of permanent retinal damage. The next total solar eclipse will be seen across the U.S. in 2024. It’s recommended you grab your glasses now before they sell out.

If your allergies in 2017 were unbearable, it wasn’t just you. Doctors report the mild winter combined with the spring precipitation resulted in an earlier bloom throughout the U.S. making for an unforgettable allergy season. In preparation for the year ahead, doctors recommend artificial tears and compresses to offer relief to your red, itchy and watery eyes. Allergy shots are also highly recommended to ward off symptoms.

Also known as the windows to the soul, sight is one of our most valuable senses. When it comes to safety and self-awareness, our eyes are our strongest weapon. It is important that you do everything necessary to protect your eyes. Yearly eye exams are the key in doing so. You should also be active in wearing sunglasses outside no matter the season. Start 2018 off right and schedule your annual eye exam now.

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