5 ways to healthy eyes this summer

Posted on: 16 August 2016 by 50connect editorial

Summertime can play havoc with our eyes. 50connect's guide reveals the essential tips to keep eyes happy this summer

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Almost two million Britons suffer with diminished vision but studies suggest it is possible to slow or even prevent damage. According to optometrists, there are many ways to improve eyesight, from vision exercises to a better diet and supplementation.

1.  Remember, what’s good for the body is good for the eyes

Dr Sarah Brewer, GP and medical nutritionist says:  “All the usual lifestyle changes help to protect the eyes so if you’re a smoker, quit. Smokers are three times more likely to develop cataracts and four times more likely to experience Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) than non–smokers. 

2. Traffic light your way to great eye health 

Rob Hobson, Healthspan’s Head of Nutrition says:  “The National Eye Institute and other vision experts advise that a healthy diet is an important factor in eye health. Researchers have found that certain nutrients with antioxidant properties are beneficial. These include carotenoid compounds such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E. Zinc and omega 3 fatty acids are also important for eye health. A great tip is to simply ‘traffic light’ your way to great eye health.  Greens such as kale are high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are concentrated in the macula of the eye and help to filter out harmful light that can cause damage. Red and orange foods such as squash and tomatoes are rich in lycopene and beta-carotene that increase the skins defenses against UV radiation and also help maintain the health and appearance of skin.  Not a substitute for sunscreen, just extra protection.

3.  Stock up on some key eye care essentials for the summer

Summer plays havoc with our eye health so stock up on some essential eye care products that will offer relief from irritation and puffy eyes caused by hay fever and other summertime irritants. If you have very irritated eyes, try The Eye Doctor which is a hot eye compress that helps relieves symptoms of various eye conditions and complications by focusing on heating the eyelids externally.

4. Forties is the eye-eye milestone 

Forties is the time when people start to notice changes in their eye health and this really is a key decade to make sure you put eye health as a priority, start booking yearly check-ups with your optometrist.  More specifically, a shift in hormones in your forties can cause dry eyes, according to Dr Sarah Brewer: “In the years leading up to and after menopause, oestrogen and progesterone levels drop, and that is a leading cause of dryness. Prescription eye drops can help to rebuild tears to normal levels. Your diet also plays a key role in lubricating chronic dry eyes so keeping your body well hydrated is vital.”

5. Choosing the right eyewear

From regular spectacles to sunglasses, contact lenses and now even ‘smart’ wearable tech eyewear.  Optometrist Ian White says “There’s never been a better time to be a spectacle or contact lens wearer.  You have the greatest ever choice to suit personal preferences, lifestyle and budget. Depending on their needs and their mood, many people have multiple pairs of specs and sunglasses that they interchange with contact lens’ on different days.” 

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