We are all too aware of the stresses of daily modern life and the obvious effects that these stressful factors can cause on our physical and mental well-being. However, one aspect that may not be at the forefront of our thinking, but is equally as important, is our eye health. After all, 80% of what we perceive comes through our sense of sight and it’s vital to keep our vision in check so to reduce the risk of blindness and vision loss.
By taking good care of your eyes you will also be able to keep in control of any potential eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. With this in mind we’ve teamed up with Essilor to highlight the top five ways that you can give yourself the best eye health.
We know by now that our bodies function better with a good selection of minerals and vitamins, and for good eyesight these include omega-3 and lutein, as well as vitamins A, C and E. Such saviours can be found in foods like red, yellow and orange vegetables, leafy greens like kale and spinach, mackerel, salmon, trout, walnuts and flaxseeds and, of course, carrots, including purple carrots! Foods to avoid include sugary and sweetened drinks, table sauces and dressings, which contain high amounts of fats and sugar, fried food and processed meats, which are all the biggest contenders.
Excessive smoking and drinking can also affect eye health and increase the risk of eye diseases such as cataracts. If leading a healthier lifestyle is on your radar, then consider quitting smoking and cutting down on your alcohol intake.
When your body is stressed, you may be more tense than usual, resulting in headaches and other muscular pain, which may affect your eyes and cause strain or fatigue. Your pupils can also be dilated for longer periods of time thus letting in more light and leading to sensitivity to light and blurry vision.
If you find that your eyes become affected by stress, the easiest way to reduce this is by reducing your stress levels, but this can be easier said than done. Consider some lifestyle changes such as healthier eating, exercise and meditation to bring your stress to a more manageable level.
Wear your glasses!
This may seem like a really obvious one but if you actually wear your prescribed glasses when you are supposed to this could make a big impact on your eye health, not only in the present but in future too. Even if you only have reading glasses prescribed, wearing them when you are told by your optician can stop your eyes from getting tired as quickly and can keep your vision at a steady level. If you require glasses all of the time then it’s important to keep the glasses on to prevent eye strain, headaches and blurry vision.
Resting your eyes
If you regularly use digital devices, such as a computer for hours at a time for work, reading or focusing on that addictive game then you really should be taking regular breaks. Digital screens may also exacerbate symptoms of stress and may cause eye strain, so keep this in mind throughout the day. Our top tip is to look away from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on an object in the distance for at least 20 seconds.
Make regular trips to your optician
It is recommended that you make a visit to your optician every two years, though you may have to have more regular check-ups, dependent on various factors such as family history or personal health. These appointments are quick and can also be lifesaving, so if it has been over two years since your last visit then what are you waiting for?