Do you consciously think about your eye health? It’s easy to take your vision for granted during everyday life, but it would arguably be the most difficult sense to lose. It’s not as rare as you might think either. According to the NHS, more than two million people in the UK are living with some form of sight loss.
Adjusting to life with full or partial sight loss is understandably difficult to manage. But while some conditions are unavoidable, thankfully there are steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy. Read five of the best below.
It might be a myth that eating carrots helps you see in the dark, but it’s true that good eye health starts with what you eat. Getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet from fruit, vegetables and other foods is a great way to protect your sight. Tasty options include:
- Dark green vegetables like spinach and kale
- Bright coloured vegetables including corn and carrots
- Fish such as salmon and tuna, that have plenty of healthy oils
- Eggs, nuts, pulses and other vegetarian proteins
- Citrus fruits and juices
Alternate between contact lenses and glasses
Wearing contact lenses is an effective way to correct your vision, but you risk infection if you don’t take care.
You should avoid sleeping in your lenses and always wash your hands before touching them. It’s wise to remove them before showering or swimming and clean them regularly with a disinfecting solution.
Carry a pair of backup glasses with you just in case, and alternate between the two when your eyes feel dry.
Be smart with computer screens
Do you work with computers? As you may be well aware, staring at a screen too long can cause eye strain, dry eyes, headaches and neck pain.
Make sure your screen is positioned in line with your eyes and avoid glare from natural or artificial light if possible. An ergonomic chair is helpful too – but most importantly, rest your eyes in regular intervals, whether that means looking away or getting up.
We’re all familiar with the primary health benefits of giving up smoking, but did you know it can protect your vision too? Smoking increases your risk of cataracts, optic nerve damage and various other conditions.
If you’re struggling to kick the habit, the NHS offers lots of free stop smoking services in local areas.
Get regular check-ups
This final tip may seem like an obvious one, but keeping up with regular check-ups is the best way to spot problems early while they’re easier to treat. Diseases such as glaucoma have no symptoms, for example.
The tests you complete will help identify whether you need extra help to see better too, as it’s normal for your vision to change over time.
If you’re not doing it already, follow these tips to protect your eyes and quality of life for years to come.