Looking after your eye health is important as it’s one of the main sensory functions of the human body. Without it the ability to conduct basic daily tasks and functions would be severely reduced. We’ve compiled 10 top tips in order to keep your eye sight and vision in tip top condition:
1. Protect your eyes at work
The Health and Safety Act (2002) requires all employers to provide free eye tests to their employees. In addition, should you require specialist glasses for reading or using a computer, an employer is obliged to supply these too.
Some jobs e.g. laboratories or factories may also require you to wear personal protection equipment (PPE) such as googles or face masks. In order to protect your eyes against harmful chemicals, substances or conditions always wear the protection provided and if you feel your health is at risk, report this to your company’s health and safety’s representative.
2. Wear eye protection in the sun
UV light can be as harmful to your eyes as it can be to your skin. Over exposure to the sun can have damaging effects to your vision. Wearing good quality sunglasses with a UV protection filter built into the lenses is important to protect your eyes from harmful sun rays.
Remember, never directly look at the sun (even with sunglasses) as this can be damaging to the eye and the retina.
3. A good diet
A healthy and balanced diet can provide you with the vitamins and nutrients needed to maintain good eyehealth. Lutein is a vitamin present in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli, it’s thought to be beneficial to maintaining healthy eyes and good vision.
A high sugar or fatty diet can lead to conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. These ailments, can in, turn lead to vision impairment and blindness if not treated or controlled.
4. Keep active
It’s believed there is a direct correlation between a sedentary lifestyle and Glaucoma² (a condition of pressure within the eye ball, which can cause a gradual loss of sight). By maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, degenerative eye conditions are less likely to develop.
5. Quit smoking
Whilst many people are aware of the health implications smoking has in contracting diseases such as cancer, lung or heart conditions, few people are aware of the impact it can have on vision.
Smoking can increase the risk of reduced vision, cloudy vision or central vision loss and smokers are more susceptible to uveitis (a condition affecting the middle layer of the eye) and other eye diseases. However, by stopping smoking in most instances the damage can be reversed and the likelihood of contracting an eye related condition can be reduced.
6. Know your family history
Being aware if you have a pre-disposition or hereditary eye condition, can be key in being pro-active about your optical health. If you are aware of any such condition, make your optometrist or health care professional aware, have regular check-ups and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, book an appointment immediately.
7. A little R&R
Spending a large amount of time engaged in one activity such as looking at a screen, driving or close-up work like needle work is likely to tire your eyes. When eyes become fatigued, they are likely to be strained so it’s important to give yourself regular breaks. A good rule of thumb is 20.20.20. Look away from the activity every 20 minutes, 20 feet away and focus on something in the distance for 20 sections.
8. Drink water
Keeping hydrated will prevent your eyes, skin surrounding your eyes and tear ducts from drying out.
9. Wash your hands
Ensuring your hands are clean at all times, will eliminate the number of bacteria or other harmful substances you may pick up on your hands and accidentally rub into your eyes.
10. Have regular eye tests
By registering with a local optician, they will remind you to have regular eye assessments. As an adult, it’s recommended to have an eye exam every two years unless you are experiencing discomfort or a change in your vision or well-being.