You only have one pair of eyes to last you a life time. Your vision matters and you should do as much as possible to take care of your peepers. For National Eye Health week we have complied our Top 5 tips to keep your eyes healthy and functioning to the best of their ability.
1 Alcohol – Reduce your intake of alcohol
Excessive drinking can lead to serious health conditions which in turn can have a detrimental effect on your eyes. As well as dehydration which can cause focussing problems and dry eyes, alcohol can have secondary effects on vision including the early development of cataracts and diabetes.
Top Tip: Try ordering a virgin cocktail or non- alcoholic beer next time you’re out. They’re actually more tasty than you might think!
2 The Sun – Always wear sunglasses in the sun
Protecting your eyes from direct sunlight is very important and should not be taken lightly. Under no circumstances should you look directly at the sun as this can cause irreversible damage and even cause permanent blindness. On sunny days you should wear sunglasses with a CE mark to ensure they have the safe level of ultraviolet (UV) protection (100%).
Top Tip: Always buy a good quality pair of sunglasses and keep them in a case so they don’t get scratched or broken.
3 Smoking – Stop Smoking
Smoking is the second biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the UK’s most common cause for loss of sight. Macular degeneration is a medical condition which may result in blurred or reduced vision in the centre of the visual field, this typically does not result in complete blindness but can make it extremely hard to recognise faces, read and drive. Smoking also increases your risk of developing cataracts, this is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye which can be treated by a surgical procedure.
Top Tip: Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, resist by keeping busy. Cravings usually last 5-10 minutes so think of things to do in this time.
4 Diet – Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Several studies show that what we eat can directly affect our vision. Foods containing antioxidants can help prevent retinal (the back of the eye) damage; the antioxidant carotenoid lutein is hugely beneficial to eye health. The list below suggests foods recommended for eye health:
- Oily fish such as salmon, cod, tuna and mackerel can be beneficial for dry eyes and also maintain general eye health
- Eggs can protect the lens of the eye developing a cataract
- Soy contains essential fatty acids which are important for maintaining good eye health
- Broad leaf greens such as kale and spinach can prevent the development of cataracts and macula degeneration, they can also reduce discomfort from glare.
- Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, for example corn, carrots, oranges and sweet peppers as well as avocados can improve night vision and prevent ‘free radical’ damage inside the eye.
Top Tip: For breakfast/brunch, Try crushed avocado with chilli flakes and seeds on toasted sour dough with a poached egg on top- delicious!
5 Exercise – Take regular exercise
A lack of exercise can significantly contribute to several eye conditions. Exercise ensures the blood is flowing around the body, this can reduce the hardening or narrowing of the arteries. In turn this prevents your blood pressure from getting too high and reduces the chance of developing diabetes.
Top tip: If you get a bus or train to work, try getting off a stop early and walk the rest of the way!
We hope you found these Top Tips useful and that we have inspired you to take care of your eyes. If you are concerned about your eyes and don’t feel your vision is as good as it should be, do get in touch and one of our team will be happy to help you. Call 0203 369 2020 or chat to us by clicking on the icon at the bottom right of your screen or device.