Every year the same mantra is chanted, “New Year New Me” but what does that actually mean for our health? Perhaps a new diet and a gym membership, or finally signing up to that fitness class. There are, however, other parts of our health that can get neglected which is why Specsavers stores across Edinburgh are urging people to take a look at their senses this New Year.
While it is important everyone has their eyes and ears tested regularly to spot signs and symptoms of any underlying problems, there are some more unusual things to spot and take action on to help keep your senses healthy. You don’t need 2020 vision to see in the New Year but you do need to make sure your senses fit into your resolutions.
While an irritating ringing noise in the ear is usually down to being around loud noises, with all those Christmas parties, it may be likely. However, it can also be a sign of excessive build-up of wax, head or neck injuries or high blood pressure.
Jonathan Bell, Audiology Director at Specsavers, explained: ‘This is known as tinnitus and while for most the ringing, buzzing, humming or whizzing sound is temporary, for others it can be permanent. For those suffering from persistent tinnitus it is advised they visit their Specsavers audiologist to see what may be behind the noise and talk about ways to manage the sound.’
Get some sleep
The New Year is definitely a time for catching up on some well needed sleep. Do you ever feel your eyes twitching from time to time? These uncomfortable and distracting spasms are known as myokymia and can often be caused by a lack of sleep.
Michael O’Kane, Optometrist Director at Specsavers, said: ‘It’s essential that we all get enough sleep as it gives our bodies an opportunity to rest – including our eye muscles, which will help to stop them from twitching.
‘Too much caffeine is a major contributor to twitching eyelids and it can be a clue sometimes to the fact that that eye is straining a little - the lack of sleep and caffeine overload allows the symptoms to manifest.’
Have a cry
Now the festivities in Edinburgh have come to an end it’s natural for us to feel a little down. But rather than hold back the tears, let them flow freely as they will do wonders for your eyes.
Michael said: ‘When we don’t have enough tears to lubricate our eyes they can become dry and irritated and we can even start to get slightly blurred vision. Tears are so important, as they can wash away foreign matter that might come into contact with your eye and they also help reduce the risk of eye infections.’
Go for a walk
That new gym membership could do more than you think. Not only is exercising good for your overall health but it’s good for your eyes too.
Michael said: ‘Studies have shown that regular exercise, such as walking, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70% and it can also decrease the risk of age-related cataracts too.’
Turn wine back to water
We’re all guilty of indulging in alcohol over the festive period and not drinking the recommended amount of water of six to eight classes a day.
Audiology director Jonathan added: ‘If your ears are looking a bit pale – and are consistently this colour – it could mean you have a deficiency of important vitamins such as vitamin C or vitamin D. However, pale coloured ears could also be a sign of dehydration too, so top up your water intake.’
Specsavers stores across Edinburgh recommend everyone has a sight test once every two years and that those over 55 should also get their hearing checked every two years.
Find your nearest store here.