Maintaining good eye health

The eyes are the window to the soul (you only have to look at these eyes to understand that) and yet we often take them for granted. When we think about establishing a healthy regime and look at diet and exercise, we often forget to look after our eyes. I always tell the children that eyes are precious…we only get one set!

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Did you know that our eyes have over two million working parts? They process information twenty-four hours a day and the muscles that control the eyes are the most active. For more interesting facts about the eyes take a look at this post.

We only really pay attention to our eyes when something goes wrong. For example, when we’re tired or have eye strain or when we notice pain or discomfort, so here are some useful tips on protecting our eyes and maintaining good eye health.

  1. Ensure you have regular eye exams. In addition to testing your sight, your optician will test for common diseases and eye conditions. The earlier these things are detected the better chance you have of correcting them. Your GP or optician can advise you on any necessary procedures such as lens replacement surgery etc.
  2. If you notice any changes to your eyes such as changes to vision, pain or swelling, see your GP straight away. Though there could be a number of minor reasons for these changes, they could also be a sign of a more serious condition. Your optician may also be able to help, a few years ago I had a serious eye infection, complicated by hayfever and it was actually the optician who got things sorted out for me – remember, they are eye specialists!
  3. Maintain good overall health and ensure you have regular check-ups with your GP. This will highlight any issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure which can also impact on your sight.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Eating well has countless benefits for your health and overall wellbeing. It is vital to ensure healthy eyes. Include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon and oily fish. Green vegetables such as spinach and kale, citrus fruits, nuts and eggs are also linked with eye health.
  5. Drinking water will help keep your eyes moist. It also ensures they can flush out dust and dirt that could potentially lead to infection or illness. According to the European Food Safety Authority women should aim for 2 litres of water or fluid each day. This increases to 2.5 litres for men.
  6. Quit smoking. Smoking is linked to numerous eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. As well as protecting your eyes, giving up smoking will provide countless benefits to your overall health. This includes increasing your life expectancy.
  7. Wear sunglasses but make sure they are the right ones. As well as causing discomfort the sun can be damaging to the eyes. It can lead to a number complications including damage to the retina and cataracts. Make sure you opt for a pair that offers good protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
  8. If you work at a computer all day make sure you look away from the screen every twenty minutes. The same goes for staring at tablets, mobile phones or any screens. Prolonged use can cause eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches and many other unwelcome problems. Also, make sure your computer is angled away from glare. If this is not possible ask your boss for an anti-glare screen.

Also read our recent article on how to revive tired eyes.

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