What can you do to keep your eyes healthy?
25 April 2019
Take a test
We all know how important our eyes are. Our sight is the sense that we rely on most on a day-to-day basis and, whether you’re considering eye surgery or not, your eye health should be up there amongst your top priorities. 74% of people in the UK wear glasses or have had laser eye or lens surgery to correct their vision. A further 13% rely on contact lenses. It’s clear to see that not many British adults are blessed with perfect vision, which makes monitoring our eye health even more crucial. First things first, regular eye tests are key in tracking any sight changes and detecting potential eye problems – or even just a change in prescription. It’s recommended that people get their eyes checked every two years, although as you get older, you might want to go more often.
There are small changes you can make to your lifestyle that should help with your overall eye health. Smokers are much more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration and cataracts than non-smokers. Both of these conditions can lead to blurry vision, and eventually sight loss, so eliminating this from your lifestyle is a step in the right direction. Heavy drinking also contributes to age-related macular degeneration, so reducing your overall alcohol consumption is recommended. Vitamins A and C are rich in antioxidants beneficial to the eyes, and foods with these in are often salad leaves and other greens, and citrus fruits. Omega 3 is something which is good for the macula – the central part of the retina – and you can find this in fish, particularly salmon.
There are other more obvious precautions you can take which most of us are aware of. These include wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays, and not spending so much time looking at screens. Some studies suggest that looking at the sun can be a catalyst for cataract development, and can contribute to vision loss later in life. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a relatively new phenomenon which occurs when you look at display devices for long periods without a break. The strain on your eyes can make it difficult to focus on objects as quickly as you used to, and can also result in blurred vision, headaches and fatigue. A good way to avoid CVS is to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes – follow this 20-20-20 rule and you’ll notice a difference.
Take a break
Last, but certainly not least, is the suggestion to give your eyes a break from contact lenses once in a while. Wearing your lenses for extended periods can supress the eye’s epithelial metabolism, compromising your eye’s natural defences and potentially leading to infection. Further to this, regularly wearing a lens can prevent oxygen from reaching your eye which is proven to bring on significant corneal changes. Even if you think you’re wearing your contacts properly, it’s still sometimes a good idea to take a break from them. You’ll probably feel better for resting your eyes, and you won’t have to worry about them slipping off-centre, or forgetting to take them out.
The healthier your eyes are, the higher the chances that you’re a suitable candidate for LASIK or LASEK. Suitability aside, eyesight is precious and we should all be doing everything we can to preserve it. If laser eye surgery isn’t the best option for you, we also offer a range of lens procedures, from Implantable Contact Lenses and Refractive Lens Exchange, to cataract surgery as a medical necessity. A core benefit of lens surgeries is that a cataract cannot form later in life, so you effectively kill two birds with one stone. Above all, we want to ensure that our patients have healthy eyes.
When you book in for your first free consultation, our optometrists will conduct an eye test to accurately assess your vision. You’ll also undergo some scans to look at exactly what’s going on inside your eye, and our consultants will recommend the best treatment path for you. Abandoning contacts and glasses to join the 13% of the UK population with perfect vision has never been so simple, and looking after your eyes is the first essential step towards clear sight.
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