In today’s fast-paced, always on world, barely a moment goes by that we don’t have a screen in front of our faces – whether it’s a mobile phone, laptop, tablet or TV. But all that screen-time can take a toll on your eyes, leaving them feeling tired, dry and itchy and in some cases, can have a negative impact on your sight.
All too often, we take this vital sense for granted, assuming that it will always be there for us when we need it – but to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, there are some important factors to consider, and from a healthy diet to reduced screen time, a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle can all help.
We asked the experts over at London Cataract Centre for their top tips for long-term eye health. Start now, and you’ll have the best possible vision for life.
Eat an eye-friendly diet
Good health starts from within, and the food that you put on your plate matters. Including foods that are rich in eye-friendly nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids – found in oily fish such as salmon and tuna – along with zinc, lutein and vitamins C and E – can all help to ward off age-related vision problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration.
Some foods to make sure you’re eating regularly include leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and chard, citrus fruits (oranges are a good choice), seafood, eggs, nuts and beans, and for that extra dose of much-needed vitamin C, try Liposomal Vitamin C – it’s the world’s strongest form of the nutrient and absorbs six times more than a tablet supplement can.
Take regular screen breaks
Spending long hours in front of a computer screen, phone or tablet can leave eyes feeling dry and blurry, often resulting in eye strain and blurred vision. Remaining in the same position all day can also cause headaches, neckache and backache, so be sure to take regular screenbreaks where possible to give your eyes a break. If you can’t leave your desk, then rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Get up at least every two hours, and offer to make a couple of rounds of office drinks if you need an excuse to move around.
If your eyes are prone to dryness, you may want to use eyedrops to help combat this. Try to avoid glare from windows and lights, and choose a comfortable, supportive desk chair, positioning the top of your monitor level with your eyes.
Smoking comes with a multitude of health risks – but did you know that it can also cause damage to your eyes and vision? Smokers have been shown to be more prone to cataracts, macular degeneration and damage to the optic nerve, so if you’ve been waiting for the right time to stop, then this is it.
See your doctor for advice on how to do this in a safe and sustainable way – there are a variety of methods and medications that may help to make the process easier.
Wear a quality pair of sunglasses
Need another excuse to get those designer sunglasses out in autumn and winter? Look no further. But as well as choosing a pair that look good, be sure that they offer the right protection for your eyes.
Too much exposure to ultra-violet light (UV) can increase your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration, so choose a polarised model that blocks 99-100 per cent of UV and UVB rays to make sure you’re covered.
Where necessary, use safety eyewear
If you often work in a hazardous environment where you’re surrounded by chemicals or dangerous materials, safety eyewear is essential. If you’re a sports player, then wear protection where possible, too – face masks or sports goggles will shield your eyes and prevent ball-related injuries. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Don’t wait for your eyesight to deteriorate – take care of your eyes now. With a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle, you can be enjoying sharp vision long into the future.