You only get one pair of eyes, so how do you keep them in tip-top health? This collection of eye care tips will help your peepers stay in pristine condition.
1. Get your eyes tested regularly
Yes, we know what you’re thinking: ‘of course an optician will recommend that I get my eyes checked regularly’ – but it really does make sense to have your eyes tested by a qualified professional at least once every two years. Eye problems often develop slowly, creeping up on us almost undetected unless checked using specialist equipment. Regular eye tests help spot any changes that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. What’s more, you might be eligible for a free NHS eye test.
2. Stop smoking
We all know the health risks associated with smoking. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, damaged arteries, cancer – we could go on. So it won’t come as a surprise to hear that smokers are at a higher risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Both of these conditions cause gradual loss of sight, and in the case of macular degeneration, there is no cure, only treatment.
3. Stay active
‘Staying active’ appears in almost every guide to staying healthy – and for good reason. Exercise provides a huge range of benefits, from improving energy levels to keeping your heart in good condition. Studies indicate that exercise is also good for your eyes by reducing the risk of conditions that can contribute to sight loss, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. So go on, see if you can get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate activity (equivalent to a brisk walking pace) each week.
4. Think about what you eat and drink
A nutritious balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables could help keep your retinas healthy – and it’s also wise to keep tabs on your alcohol consumption. If you regularly drink more than 14 units a week, it might be worth cutting back. Especially as heavy alcohol consumption is linked to an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration.
5. Protect your eyes from the sun
Looking directly into the sun can cause permanent damage to your eyes, and can even cause blindness. Given that eyes are up to 10 times more sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays than skin, it pays to wear UV-rated, CE-marked sunglasses. But not all sunglasses filter out damaging ultraviolet wavelengths, so make sure you ask for advice on which sunglasses are best for you.
Not had an eye test for some time?
It could be the right time to pop in and get your eyes checked by one of our qualified opticians. It doesn’t take long, and if you do have anything wrong with your eyes, we can take action and get it sorted.
You can book your eye test online or call us on 0800 40 20 20.