Ten Tips for Better Eye Health
With contributions from: Suzanne Dennis Bsc Hons MCOptom
Tip One – Eye Care
- Have an eye test at least every two years, to check not only your vision but also your eye and general health -don`t forget an NHS test is FREE if you are over 60.
Tip Two – Eyewear
- Wear your glasses or contact lenses to help you perform better at work, rest and play.
- Have more than one pair for specific tasks.
- Glasses these days can look and feel fantastic can change your image in an instant.
- Contact lenses are now available in most prescriptions and new materials mean they can be comfortable for long periods or just worn on a part time flexible basis.
Tip Three – Eye Protection
- UV protection for Eyes is as important as sunscreen for skin. Harmful UVA and UVB are invisible rays contained in sunlight and may be a factor in a number of eye diseases particularly cataract.
Tip Four – Stop Smoking
- 13 million smokers are doubling their chances of sight loss in later life.
- Age-related macular degeneration AMD is the UK`s leading cause of sight loss.500,000 people have AMD and an estimated 54,000 have the condition as a result of smoking.
- The link is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer and yet very few people are aware of it.
Tip Five – Eat a Balanced Diet
- Good nutrition is important for both general and eye health. It helps the body to grow, repair wear and tear ,protect against infection and function properly.
- It is important to maintain a healthy weight obesity increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes which in turn can lead to sight loss.
- Clinical trials have shown antioxidant vitamins found in certain foods to be beneficial to eye health particularly fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and oily fish.
Tip Six – Blink Frequently
- The tear film is important for maintaining a healthy cornea and conjunctiva.
- A dry eye condition can produce symptoms of sore red eyes, a foreign body sensation and grittiness. Your Eyesore professional can assess the tear film and advise on the use of lubricating drops and gels or alternatives like the Eyebag.
- Regular blinking is important to re-distribute the tear film especially when using a computer or reading.
Tip Seven – Drink Water
- Drink at least 6 -8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
- Your tears and the delicate skin around the eyes are particularly susceptible to dryness.
- De-hydration can lead to headaches.
Tip Eight – Wash Your Hands
- Regular hand washing helps reduce the spread of colds, runny eyes and eye infections like conjunctivitis.
- Hygiene is of the utmost importance when handling contact lenses and contact lens cases. Micro-organisms can be transferred onto the lenses and introduce infection into the eye.
Tip Nine – Be Aware
- Be aware of your family history of eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Some sight threatening conditions like glaucoma have no symptoms and could cause you to lose 40% of your vision before you notice a difference.
- Flashes and Floaters may be a sign of retinal tear or detachment and require urgent investigation.
Tip Ten – Take Prompt Action
- If you experience any change with your eyes prompt diagnosis and treatment can help reduce long-term problems.
- We are here to give you advice on how to prevent or delay onset and picking up these conditions could save your sight.
- Every day ask yourself “ Do my eyes look good, feel good and see well?”
Shopping List for Eye Health
- Vitamins A,C and E found in:
- Dried apricots
- Raw carrots
- Leafy greens-spinach and kale
- Green peas and beans
- Brussel sprouts
- Also found in nuts,seeds,dairy products and eggs
- and oily fish
Vitamins and Supplements
- There are now dietary supplements available following a large research trial AREDS 2 which showed that the progression to advanced AMD could be slowed down.The recommended doses for this formula are:
- Vitamin C 500mg
- Vitamin E 400IU
- Lutein 10mg
- Zeaxanthin 2mg
- Zinc 25mg or 80mg
- Copper 2mg (added to the formula as high levels of zinc can reduce the amount of copper in the body)
- Some people who have AMD may like to consider taking supplements after consultation with their GP.
- Beta carotene should not be taken by smokers.