5 easy steps to keep your eyes Healthy
We are all concerned about our health, we try hard to get our five a day fruit and veg, join gyms, try to get our steps up to 5000 plus a day, quit smoking etc, which are all great ideas, but often we forget about the health of our eyes.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet high in Vitamin A and Lutein is great for eye health.
Vitamin A, not only helps maintain a clear cornea and help reduced risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) it is also component of rhodopsin, a protein in your eyes that helps you see in low light condition. Vitamin A can be found in carrots- not surprisingly, this is where they get their reputation of helping you see in the dark.
Vitamin A is not only found in carrots, other veg high in vit A are Kale, spinach, squash, pumpkin and peppers. Why not try one of these yummy carrot smoothies.
Lutein can be found in green vegetables, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, sprouts etc and helps protect your eyes from harmful light waves such as ultraviolet rays in sunlight along with added protection against AMD and Cataracts.
2. Quit Smoking
We all know we should quit smoking to improve our health but did you know smoking has been directly linked to two of the leading causes of vision loss, cataracts and macular degeneration?
It's not the easiest of life changes, but there’s plenty of support out there to help you quit smoking.
3. Wear sunglasses
We all know the sun’s rays are bad for our skin, but did you know they are just as bad for the eyes?
Wearing sunglasses when the sun’s rays are at their strongest between 10am and 4pm can help protect your eyes against the harmful UVA and UVB rays which can increase risks of Cataracts, Macular Degeneration and Pterygium, also known as surfer’s eye.
When buying sunglasses make sure they block 100% of UVA and UVB and look for the CE mark.We suggest complementing your sunglasses with a wide brimmed hat for added protection.
4. Limit screen time
Although screen time does not cause eye damage, it can exacerbate an already undiagnosed eye issue.
If you spend long periods of time glued to a computer at work, gaming at home, or staring into your smartphone then it’s worth using the 20-20-20 rule - Rest your eyes every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s also a good idea to get up at least every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break.
If you continue to experience, blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches etc during screen time it’s worth getting your eyesight tested.
Which brings me to my final point
5. Get an eye test
It's recommended that most people should get their eyes tested every 2 years.
Sight tests not only check whether you need glasses or a change to your current prescription but also check your eye health for conditions such as diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
You may be eligible for a free sight test on the NHS- check out their requirements.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 17 Nov 2018, Last modified: 4 Mar 2020