National Eye Health Week 2021: 4 habits to follow for healthy eyes
23 September 2021
Learn how to keep your eyes healthy
This week (20th – 26th September) is National Eye Health Week in the UK!
Here at Ultralase, we understand how important it is to keep your eyes healthy. In honour of National Eye Health Week, we will be exploring a few healthy habits you can incorporate into your lifestyle that promotes good eye health. Here are our 4 tips on how to look after your eyes:
1. Go for a regular eye test
It is incredibly important for everyone to go for a regular eye test once every 2 years for the sake of your vision and eye health. Looking after your eyes is just as important as the rest of your body – after all, the eyes are the window to the soul!
As more than 50 per cent of sight loss is preventable, getting your eyes tested by an optometrist can help prevent (or limit) any damage that may be caused by certain eye conditions. Regular eye tests are also significant because they can help with:
- Improving the quality of your day-to-day life through corrective glasses or contact lenses
- Detecting eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which could potentially lead to vision loss
- Decreasing the risk of falls and injuries due to poor vision
During a routine eye test, an optometrist can also spot early signs of other health conditions with symptoms that affect the eyes, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. For children, eye tests are crucial to ensure that any visual problems such as squint, lazy eye (amblyopia) or short-sightedness (myopia) are detected and treated early.
2. Eat healthy foods to boost eye health
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (along with fish, nuts and oils) will not only improve your health in general, but particularly your eye health too, and can reduce the risk of developing eye diseases and conditions. Some foods that you can incorporate into your diet that are particularly good for your eyes include:
- Berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
- Red peppers
- Sunflower seeds and nuts
- Kale, spinach and other greens
- Orange coloured fruit and veg (carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes)
- Beans and legumes
3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Watching your weight and staying healthy can help protect your eyes from conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and AMD – the UK’s leading cause of blindness. For more advice on how to lose weight and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, have a look at the NHS Better Health website.
In addition, studies have shown that on top of a healthy diet, regular exercise can also reduce the risks of developing eye diseases. In particular, cardiovascular exercise can lower intraocular pressure (eye pressure) and that keeps the retinal ganglion cells protected. Cardio increases the blood flow to the optic nerve and the retina, and this can improve overall eye health and vision – particularly for those who suffer from glaucoma. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can lead to vision problems as well, therefore, maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can significantly reduce your risks of eye problems and boost your eye health.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking can be just as bad for your eyes as it can be for the rest of your body. Smoking can lead to the development of serious eye conditions that could cause vision loss and blindness, such as AMD and cataracts. If you smoke, you are twice as likely to develop AMD in comparison with a non-smoker, and you are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts compared to a non-smoker. Quitting smoking can lower your risk for AMD and cataracts, and can slow the disease if you already suffer from it. While certain diseases can be inherited and are out of your control, quitting smoking is something within your control that could prevent any vision loss from progressing further.
National Eye Health Week is a significant week that highlights the importance of looking after our eye health to reduce the risk of eye diseases. By following these 4 tips, you can be sure that your eyes are being well looked after to prevent vision loss and blindness. If you have any concerns regarding your vision, get in touch with us and see how we can help you achieve the vision you deserve.
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