National Eye Health Week 2018 is an important week for everyone, young or old. As always, we’re entering into the spirit of it and are ready to help you to look after your eyes! This is a great time to get informed, assess your lifestyle and health and even book yourself in for that all important eye test, if you haven’t done so already.
Our team want to help you with your eye care, so we’ve made a guide for you with our top 10 tips on how to keep your eyes healthy! Think of it as a reminder of everything that you’ve learnt from our eye care tips on Facebook and Twitter this week that can act as a little bit of inspiration for the future if you’re ever wondering what else you could be doing to maintain good eye health.
1. Have a Fully Comprehensive Eye Test
A routine eye test every 1 to 2 years can reveal so much about your vision and overall eye health. Whether we find your eyes are in good health or we do find any cause for concern, there’s reason to be thankful. Early detection of a condition that can be treated is key in preventing further deterioration to your eyes and visual health.
It’s also a good idea to get up to speed about any eye conditions within your family, especially if you are 40 or older. Eye conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration need to be prevented or treated in their early stages to avoid complete and irreversible vision loss.
One service that is rapidly becoming a crucial part of our comprehensive eye test for diagnosing eye conditions is retinal imaging through the Cobra HD+. This allows our optometrist to take very detailed photos of the back of your eye and diagnose retinal detachments, diabetes and other eye diseases. Find out more about this extended eye care service here:
2. Eat Heathily
Healthy eating goes hand in hand with healthy eyes. Foods rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, Omega-3 and Vitamins A, C and E are a must in your everyday diet, as well as plenty of water! We highly recommend oily fish like tuna, salmon or trout. Some studies even suggest that fish oil could reverse symptoms of Dry Eye!
Nuts such as walnuts and cashews, as well as chia and flax seeds protect eyes from developing age-related conditions. Along with these, you can add more variety and eye nutrients to your diet, with citrus fruits, leafy greens like spinach and kale, beef, chicken breast and eggs. These are all easy to incorporate into your existing diet and could make all the difference to your eye health in the future!
3. Stop Smoking
Smokers have double or triple the chance of contracting debilitating eye diseases later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. Tobacco is directly linked to AMD, so we can’t emphasise enough how important it is for you to stop smoking now – you’ve only got one pair of eyes and they’re precious!
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
A high Body Mass Index (BMI) is associated with the most common causes of sight loss: macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 1 in 4 adults in the UK have a BMI of 30+.
So, if you guilty of having a sedentary lifestyle, it’s time to change your habits! We’re not about ask you to go to that dreaded spin class, but if you start with light exercise twice a week, you’ll be helping your eyes and overall health massively!
5. Wear Your Prescribed Glasses
Even though glasses are now often used as a fashion statement, there are still a few people who will hide from the trends and avoid wearing them. If you’re short sighted, our in-house experts advise that this could affect your reactional ability whilst driving, causing danger to yourself and others.
In the long term, a child refusing to wear glasses could also put a stop to the complete development of their eyes. Getting a clear image to the retina helps the eyes to grow, so when your vision isn’t clear, this development and growth is prevented.
If a long-sighted child doesn’t wear any form of vision correction, they run the risk of forming a lazy eye. With additional issues like eye strain, fatigue and headaches on the cards, you’ve got to ask yourself- is not wearing prescribed glasses worth the risk?
6. Wear Your Shades
Now, there can’t be an easier habit to follow than this one. Not only will wearing shades protect your eyes but they also double up as a fashion accessory, automatically giving the wearer a trendy, cool look.
Remember, sunglasses are often needed in both hot and cold weather (snow reflects up to 80% of the sun’s natural UV rays). If you make sure your sunglasses block out 99-100% UV radiation, you can’t go wrong with this simple eye health hack!
7. Rest Your Weary Eyes
In this digital era of ours, we’re now being exposed to a record number of gadgets and devices daily! Computers, tablets and smartphones are the biggest culprits, so if you tend to spend prolonged periods of time looking at them, you’ll often experience eye fatigue.
Why don’t you try the 20-20-20 rule? This means looking away from your screen every 20 mins, at something about 20 feet away from you, for 20 seconds.
You can adjust your screen distance to optimum distance of 20-24 inches from your eyes if you haven’t done so already, too. Even a slight improvement in the condition of your eyes can make all the difference to your overall comfort and efficiency, especially in the workplace.
8. Use Protective Eyewear
If your work involves welding or you need to be in gritty, dusty environments where there is a risk of foreign objects entering the eyes, you need to make sure your employer has provided safety eyewear, or enabled you to purchase appropriate eye protection from your optician. You should also don protective glasses if you play contact sports to avoid greater risk of eye injuries.
9. Take Care of Your Contact Lenses
One the first things we teach you when putting your lenses in for the first time is to ALWAYS wash your hands and dry them properly first. Microorganisms and bacteria in your eyes can cause irritation, redness and nasty infections which could put you off wearing contact lenses for life!
Daily disposables, as the name suggests, should be thrown away every day to reduce the chances of infection. If you wear two-weekly or monthly lenses, you must ensure you disinfect and store your lenses in a clean case, as instructed by your contact lens practitioner.
10. Get a Good Night’s Rest
Do you get regular, good quality shut-eye? Sleep deprivation can be a terrible thing for your body and mind! Bloodshot, dry eyes coupled with dark circles and twitching are some of the direct effects it can have on your eyes and not a good look! The daily recommendation is 7-8 hours; any less and you’ll be increasing your mortality risk.
So, there you have it- our comprehensive guide to eye care and the best ways to improve and maintain your eye health going forward! As your expert independent opticians in London, we are always happy to answer any questions regarding your eye health. Feel free to contact our friendly experts on 0207 224 7400, or if you’d like to book an eye test online, click here.