Now that January is over, can you honestly say that you’ve stuck to any of your New Year’s resolutions? Or are you like most people who have let their new exercise regime slip, who have ditched the diet, or who have forgotten about all of their good intentions for the year?
Now is about the time that people drop their resolutions and fall back into their old ways, failing to make any new, better habits along the way. However, there is one resolution that you should keep – or make, if you haven’t already – and that is to keep your eyes in great health.
We all know how important our eyesight is to us. How different would life be without one of our vital senses? It’s difficult to even imagine. But if you don’t take proper care of your eyes, it could become a reality in years to come.
Take your diet for example. You may want to change your diet to include more healthy foods to give you a slimmer figure, but did you know this can also have benefits for your eyes? The vitamins in fruits and vegetables help to maintain your body, and they also maintain the health of your eyes. Including vitamins A, C and E puts you a step in the right direction. Zinc and carotenoids also help to protect you against macular degeneration, which can eventually lead to sight loss.
Likewise, you may have joined a gym hoping to gain some muscle, but exercise can have an impact on your vision, too. It improves blood circulation and this means that the blood flow to your eyes is also better. In turn, this helps the retina and optic nerve to do their jobs properly. More exercise can reduce the pressure in the eye too, warding off conditions such as glaucoma.
One very simple thing you can do to help protect your own eye health, is to learn about your family’s eye health. It may sound strange, but did you know that if your parents suffer from cataracts, this increases the likelihood that you will, too. If you know of any eye condition that a close family member has had, speak to your optician to find out if there is any risk of you developing the same.
That leads us on to a very important point; visit your optician regularly.
It is recommended that you have a routine eye examination at least once every two years, although some people should be seen more often, depending on their current eye health. Visiting your optician regularly means that they are able to assess your current eye health and vision, and it also means that they can monitor your eyes for any small changes that may cause a problem later down the line.
Have you ever heard that prevention is better than cure? Well it’s true. Very often eye conditions don’t show any symptoms until irreversible damage is done. However, your optician will be able to spot the signs of a condition before it has time to cause you a problem. If you haven’t seen an optician in the past two years, book your appointment now!
Finally, one last thing you can do to look after your sight now and in the long-term, is to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. This tip is slightly more exciting than the others, because it means wearing sunglasses.
Check that your sunglasses filter out 99-100% of UVA and UVB light – it is shocking how many sunglasses don’t actually offer any protection. If you’re unsure if your glasses are good enough to protect your eyes, ask your optician who should be able to tell by looking at the lenses.
Wear your sunglasses when you’re outside in the sunlight. In the summer, remember that UV rays can harm your eyes even on cloudy, overcast days. And in the other months, make sure you still have your shades to hand, because, although it doesn’t seem like it, we do get a lot of sunshine on cold days and this means that those UV rays are out in force.
In winter, you also get a lot of glare on the roads which your sunglasses will help to protect your eyes from. There are special coatings that can be added to your lenses which help with different kinds of light, so speak to your optician to find out what would be best for you.
If you would like to speak to the team at Eye Emporium about your eye health, if you would like more advice on how to keep your eyes in top health, or if you need to make an appointment, call us on 0800 020 9202. We’d be delighted to help.