Taking care of our eyes is just as important as the rest of our bodies. Follow these top tips from Vision Matters on how to ensure your eyes are kept healthy, sparkling and bright
Regular check ups
Get your eyes tested every two years even if you think your vision is fine. Some eye conditions, for example open angle glaucoma, may not show symptoms and so regular check-ups are vital.
Quit the habit
If you smoke, you have another good reason to kick the habit. Smoking is directly linked to blindness. Current smokers are four times more likely to develop macular degeneration compared to past smokers or non-smokers.
It’s all relative
Talk to your relatives about your family eye health history as some eye conditions have genetic links such as glaucoma or squint. It is important that you share this information with your optometrist or eye health professional.
If you wear contact lenses make sure you look after them properly. Thoroughly wash your hands before touching your contact lenses or your eyes and only ever clean your contacts using the contact lens solution recommended by your optometrist. Never shower, sleep or swim with your contacts lenses in because this can put you at risk of developing a serious eye infection which could lead to blindness. Also, don't wear them for longer periods than those recommended by your optometrist.
Be cool in the sun
Protect your eyes when it is sunny or when you’re in high glare areas such as near snow or water. Cumulative UV exposure can increase your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. When choosing sunglasses make sure that they are safe as well as stylish! Look out for the CE or BS EN 1836:2005 marks – this ensures that they provide a safe level of protection from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.
Protect your eyes
If you work with hazardous or airborne materials at work or home wear safety glasses or protective goggles to protect your eyes from injury.
Keep fit and healthy
Regular exercise is essential to stay fit and healthy but it is also important that when playing sports such as squash that you wear protective eye wear such as helmets or sports goggles to protect your eyes from a flying ball.
Protecting your eyes starts with the food you eat. Studies have shown that nutrients in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E may help to prevent age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Recommended foods include green leafy vegetables and oily fish such as salmon and citrus fruits.