This week (21st – 27th September 2020) is National Eye Health Week, which promotes the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests. Although sight is arguably the most important sense and the one many of us fear losing the most, often people do not know how to look after their eyes. National Eye Health Week aims to change that, and we are offering a helping hand by giving you some easy tips to keep your eyes in top shape!
Eat a balanced diet
A good diet is vital for eye health, filling up on nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E may protect your eyes from age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
To get enough of these nutrients, you should eat plenty of:
Leafy greens – such as spinach and kale
Oily fish – like salmon & tuna
Protein – eggs, nuts and beans
Citrus fruits – oranges and lemons
Not only will a balanced diet support healthy eyes, it can also help you maintain a healthy weight – meaning you lower your chances of obesity and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults.
Too much UV exposure can enhance your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration, even on overcast days up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds. Choose a pair of sunglasses that blocks at least 99% of UVA and UVB rays to help protect your eyes from the sun.
Reduce screen exposure
Limiting the amount of time you spend staring at a computer or phone screen is the ideal way to protect your eyes, however with many of us using these devices daily in our working lives it isn’t always possible. Looking at a screen for too long can cause eye strain, blurry vision, dry eyes and headaches, here are some ways you can prevent these issues:
If you wear glasses, make sure your prescription is up-to-date
Try to avoid glare from windows and lights, use an anti-glare screen if necessary.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule: rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Regular eye tests
Ensuring you have your eyes tested regularly protects your sight. As well as this, eye exams can also find diseases that have no symptoms, such as glaucoma. If these diseases are found early on then they stand more chance of being treated. A comprehensive eye test may include discussing your family’s medical history, a vision test to see if you are near-sighted, far-sighted, have age-related vision changes (presbyopia) or have a curved cornea that blur vision (astigmatism). They can also test how well your eyes work together and check for glaucoma.