While many of us are using January as the perfect excuse to kick-start a new healthy living regime, there are lots of others who just aren’t sure where to start with it all. You only have to turn on the TV to see adverts for diet plans, new fitness fads, and the latest “get slim quick” product, but while you’re taking care of how you look, are you taking care of how you see?
You may be surprised to know that leading a healthier lifestyle can not only help you to keep slim, but it can also have an impact on your eye health.
January is hailed National Staying Healthy Month, so at Eye Emporium, we want to share with you some small changes that you can make to your lifestyle, that will help you make some big changes to your general and eye health.
We’ll start with an obvious but important one; if you smoke, try to stop!
Quitting the cigarettes not only has enormous benefits for your health and fitness (not to mention your skin!), but it can also have a huge impact on your sight. Research suggests, smokers are up to four times more likely to go blind in old age (thanks to macular degeneration) than non-smokers.
But not only that; in the short-term, smoking can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to constrict, increasing your risk of glaucoma due to an increase in pressure. It also gives you a much higher chance of suffering with cataracts and optic nerve damage.
When you quit smoking, you can undo a lot of the damage that has already been caused, so it’s definitely worth it.
Changing your diet is great for your health and can go some way to giving you a flatter stomach, but what you eat can also affect your eyes. In fact, there are lots of foods that you should include in your diet on a regular basis that will boost your eyesight and protect you from harmful eye diseases.
Vitamins A, C, and E are anti-oxidant vitamins that help keep the cells and tissues in the eye healthy. Fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds all contain these vitamins, so incorporate things like oranges, broccoli and spinach to your meals on a daily basis.
Eggs and dark fruits and veggies all contain lutein and zeaxanthin to protect the pigment in your eyes, so you can throw in lots of tomatoes, peppers and leafy greens into your favourite dishes, too.
You should also make sure that you include enough Omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. Fats are perceived as bad for a diet, but actually, most people don’t get enough Omega 3 and, as well as protecting your general health, this can ward off eye conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Finally, exercise is another way of taking care of your eye health at the same time as your body. You may wonder how exercising can help keep your eyes in shape, but actually, regular exercise is a great way to improve the flow of blood around your body. This also means the flow of blood to your eyes is improved. It also works to reduce the pressure in your eyes. A better flow of blood to the retina and optic nerve, along with reduced pressure in the eye, means that you cut your risk of developing glaucoma and age related macular degeneration by up to 30%!
If you have any concerns about your eye health, have questions about how to improve it, or you need to arrange your next eye examination, please call our friendly team at Eye Emporium on 0800 020 9202; we’d be delighted to help.