Your eyesight is incredibly important, so it is always a wise move to take any steps that you can to look after it. Most of the steps which you can take are very simple, including those that we shall take a closer look at below. Although it’s always better to start following the steps below as soon as possible, you are never too old or young to start to take proactive steps to help to prevent any eyesight loss.
The steps below are designed to help to protect the range of sight that you currently have, and are not intended to help to improve poor eyesight.
Regular Eye Tests
It is important that you have regular eye tests/ exams, even if you do not think that you have a problem with your vision. Eye exams do not just check your vision, they also check the general health of your eyes, and opticians may be able to pick up potential problems before they start to become more serious. Catching vision problems early can stop eye strain, which can lead to regular headaches and dizziness.
Most people under the age of 40 should aim to have an eye exam every two years, although if you wear contact lenses regularly, your optician may ask you to come in more frequently.
If you work with computer display units, the company that you work with may be able to help you to cover the cost of your eye exams as part of your staff benefit package.
If you are not careful, your eyes may be vulnerable to accidental damage from a lot of different sources. This could involve overt physical damage, such as damage which could be caused by flying objects, or the damage could occur to the physical structures within the eye itself. The vast majority of damage could actually have been prevented if sufficient eye safety steps had been taken.
If you use tools as part of your job or recreationally, you should always wear protective eye glasses to protect your eyes from hazards such as sparks or flying shrapnel. If you are working with any tools which may create very bright sparks, you should also wear tinted glasses and follow standard safety procedures, or else you could irreparably damage the light sensors in your eyes.
Never look directly at the sun, even if you are wearing sunglasses. If you are intending to go out in bright sunlight, make sure that your sunglasses have a CE mark and have been certified as being up to British Standard BS EN 1836:2005.
Research has discovered that regular smokers are more likely to develop age-related degeneration of some sections of the eye, which can lead to the development of vision issues. Cataracts are also more common in smokers compared to non-smokers. Quitting smoking can help reduce the chances of developing smoking related eye issues.
Excessive consumption of alcohol is also associated with macular degeneration, with heavy drinkers often experiencing age-related degeneration of the eye at a much earlier age than infrequent alcohol users. To decrease your chances of alcohol related issues, never binge drink and do not exceed the government’s weekly alcohol consumption guidelines.
Nutrition for Eye Health
In terms of nutrition, it is important that you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Whilst there are no magic foods to give you 20/20 vision, there are certain foods which you may want to include as part of a balanced diet to avoid developing conditions which may affect your eyesight.
Foods which promote eye health include those which are rich in beta-carotene (carrots, pumpkin, mango, sweet potato etc), lutein (kale, spinach, spring greens, brussels sprouts, eggs, etc), vitamin C (berries, broccoli, citrus fruits, herbs etc), vitamin E (almonds, avocados, kiwifruit etc) and omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish, sardines, caviar etc). It is important to consume these foods as part of a wider diet, and to take care not to exceed recommended amount for any of these foods.
All of these steps are very basic pieces of advice to protect your eyesight. If you are worried that your eyesight may be degenerating, you should speak to a trained optician as soon as possible, so that they can offer you expert help and advice.