The older we get the more important it becomes to maintain our eye health. We only have one set of eyes so it is really important to try and keep them healthy as possibly for as long as we can. There are many things which can impact the health of our eyes but on a positive note there are also many things which we can do to keep them healthy. Follow our guide to keeping your eyes healthy:
When we think of our eyes our diet doesn’t always come to mind. However, what we eat can have a serious effect on our eyes. It is important to include as many fruit and vegetables in our diet as possible. Leafy green vegetables contain three crucial nutrients ( Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin) which are known as carotenoids.
Maintaining a healthy weight can also help keep our eyes healthy. Being overweight can increase your risk of developing diabetes, this puts you at a higher risk of developing glaucoma or developing diabetic retinopathy. Getting regular exercise promotes blood circulation, increasing oxygen levels in the eyes and removing toxins, this helps maintain healthy eyes. Exercise can be anything from a daily walk to working out in the gym, get that heart pumping!
Smoking has been linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and Dry Eye Syndrome, according to studies. Quitting smoking is one strategy to lower your chances of developing AMD. Smokers are three to four times as likely than non-smokers to develop AMD3.
Protect your Eyes from the Sun:
It is so important to protect our eyes from the sun as much as we can, even when its cloudy we should wear sunglasses. When choosing a pair of sunglasses make sure they offer the best form of UV protection. Some sunglasses offer 100% UV protection whilst other offer a UV400 protection. All UVA and UVB rays are blocked by the UV 400 lens, which has a wavelength of 400 nanometres.
If you wear contact lenses it is a good idea to wear ones that offer integrated UV protection. Contact lenses with UV protection are now available from many opticians. To ensure your contacts are giving you the most protection ensure that you are using Class 1 UV blockers. To ensure maximum protection wear sunglasses when outdoors also.
Know your Family Medical History:
As some eye disorders can be hereditary, it’s crucial to be aware of any eye conditions a family member may have or have had in the past. This will alert you to your own risk of developing eye conditions. By knowing about possible eye health problems we can be more proactive in looking after our eye health and know the symptoms to look out for.
- Enrichment of Macular Pigment Enhances Contrast Sensitivity in Subjects Free of Retina Disease: Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials – Report 1, Nolan et al, IOVS, 2016. 2. The Impact of Supplemental Antioxidants on Visual Function in Nonadvanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Head-to-Head Randomized Clinical Trial” Akuffo, et al IOVS, 2017.
- Bertram, K.M., et al., Molecular regulation of cigarette smoke induced-oxidative stress in human retinal pigment epithelial cells: implications for age-related macular degeneration. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 2009. 297(5): p. C1200-10.