Simple Tips for Looking After Your Eyes

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Posted on: 10 May 2016 by John Bell

As we get older, it becomes more important to pay attention to the health of our eyes and vision. In this post, we look at a few simple tips for taking care of your eyes

Simple Tips for Looking After Your Eyes

As we get older it becomes increasingly important to look after our eyes and vision, particularly as the risks of diseases such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and cataracts become more pronounced as we age.

So in this post we’ll look at a handful of simple steps you can take to look after your eyes and vision, and to minimise the risk of disease and vision loss.

 

  • Get regular eye tests

Having an eye test is not just for finding out if you need glasses or a new prescription, it’s an important health check for your eyes, and can even help to spot early symptoms of general health problems such as diabetes. Generally speaking you should get an eye exam at least once every two years, although for people over 50 this should be more frequent. If you’re over 60, you should be getting an eye test at least once a year.

In addition to getting regular eye tests, you should also pay attention to your vision, and should visit your optician or GP any time you’re concerned with any aspect of your vision, no matter how small it may be. 

 

  • Give up smoking

Research shows that smokers are up to three times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration compared to non-smokers, and up to twice as likely to develop cataracts. AMD and cataracts are the two leading causes of visual impairment in the UK, and are particularly pertinent for those of us over 50. If you need help stopping smoking you can visit your GP for advice and support.

 

  • Get regular exercise

Recent research has shown a clear link between exercise and a reduced risk of sight loss. This is because exercise reduces the likelihood of high blood pressure, diabetes and narrowing of the arteries, all of which have been linked to visual impairment.

 

  • Eat healthily

A healthy and balanced diet will not only provide you with numerous overall health benefits, but will help keep your eyes health and working well. Foods like carrots, leafy vegetables, nuts, fish and fruits all contain essential vitamins and nutrients that are linked to healthy eyes and strong vision.

 

  • Look after your eyes in the sun

It seems simple, but UV exposure is a major threat to your eyes and vision, meaning you should always wear sunglasses when out in the sun. Luxury brands such as Gucci or Ray Ban sunglasses will provide 100% UV protection, glare protection and polarized lenses, but you can also get a similar level of protection from cheaper pairs. Be sure to check what level of protection is offered before you buy a pair of sunglasses, and never opt for counterfeit frames (which offer little or no UV protection whatsoever). If you have a regular prescription from your optician, be sure to get prescription sunglasses (rather than just a regular store-bought pair) to ensure you don't strain your eyes in the sun. 

If you’re unsure, look for sunglasses carrying the CE mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005, which ensures they offer a safe level of UV protection. 

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