In the UK, around 6 million people suffer from eye conditions and every day, 250 people lose their sight*. The aim of National Eye Health Week is to promote the importance of eye health and encourage people to get their eyes tested more regularly.
A lot of people don’t think about protecting their eyes until something goes wrong. It’s always better to prevent than to cure, and with 50% of sight loss being avoidable, there's a lot we can do to keep our eyes healthy and functioning at their best. Here are some of our tips on how to keep your eyes in top working order.
What are the best ways to take care of your eyes?
1) Eat a balanced diet
We've always been told we should be getting at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetables a day. However, a study led by Imperial College London shows it would be much better to aim for 10 portions of fruit and veg a day! Not possible for most people, of course, but having balance in your diet overall is good enough.
So, what foods help keep your eyes healthy? Whole grains will contribute to keeping your eyes happy. Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon or mackerel eaten twice a week can also help reduce symptoms of dry eye. If you’re vegan or if you just don’t like fish, other foods containing omega 3 fatty acids include walnuts and flax seeds. Fish oil supplements can also be added to your diet.
2) Quit smoking
Smoking can have a significant impact on your vision. There’s a strong link between smoking and sight loss. If you smoke, this is just one of the many reasons you should quit. Of course, smoking is bad for your overall health, but it can really damage your eyes too. Smokers are much more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, a condition that causes loss of vision in the central part of the eye.
Vaping has become increasingly popular over the years as an alternative to smoking. Although we still don't have long-term studies about the potentially harmful effects of vaping, it could possibly be hazardous to our eyes in the same way smoke is.
3) Limit your screen time
This isn’t always possible, especially when your job involves looking at a computer screen all day. To reduce eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look 20 feet into the distance for at least 20 seconds. This should give your eyes a break between long stretches of concentrating. Also try to blink more often to keep eyes regularly hydrated. Biofinity Energys are made with Digital Zone Optics lens design technology. Digital Zone Optics lens design helps ease the burden as wearers move their gaze from on-screen to off-screen and back with less effort. If you feel that your eyes are getting tired and dry, eye drops such as comfi Drops can offer immediate relief.
4) Exercise regularly
The physician Robert Butler said, “If exercise could be packaged in a pill, it would be the single most widely prescribed and beneficial medicine in the nation.” Which goes some way to explaining just how beneficial exercise is for your overall health. Engaging in moderate activity every week will reduce your risk of cataracts and Glaucoma.
5) Wear sunglasses
Even on cloudy days, ultraviolet light (UV) can harm your eyes. Make sure your sunglasses have 100% UV protection, this will mean you’ll be protected from both UVA and UVB radiation. For added protection against rays and glare, you should also consider getting a pair of sunglasses that are polarised. We stock a wide range of designer sunglasses that keep both fashion and function in mind. Our wide range of sunny shades all come with UV protection. Choose from both high-end and more affordable sunglasses and stay stylish and protected in the shade.
6) Keep your hands clean
Every time you touch your eyes with unclean hands, you’re putting bacteria into the eye area, making it more likely that you’ll get an eye infection. Make sure hands are clean and dry when putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Practising good hand hygiene is the number one way of avoiding eye infections when you wear contact lenses.
7) How often do you need to get your eyes checked?
A lot of people will say they don’t have the time to get their eyes checked. They might also think there’s no point because they aren’t in pain and they can see well. Regular sight tests are important and will help you spot any trouble before it can get worse. It’s recommended you have your eyes tested every two years. If anything changes with your eyes (or if you have a family history of eye conditions) you should consider getting a sight test sooner.
Your eyes will be there for you your entire life if you take care of them. Following these simple steps will dramatically reduce your chance of developing eye infections and sight loss in the future.
*Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People.