Your eyes are one of the most crucial parts of your body when it comes to living what would be considered to be a ‘normal’ life. Your work, relationships, hobbies, relaxation time and ability to travel freely all require you to be able to see clearly – you could easily argue that your eyes are one of the most crucial parts of your body when it comes to the independence many of us take for granted.
Given the significance of your eyes and vision on your overall quality of life, it’s important to look after them effectively, but it’s surprising just how little people know about keeping their eyes healthy. In this post, we’ll look at 10 tips for taking better care of your eyes.
- Stop smoking!
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health, but it’s also incredibly bad for your eyes and can put you at risk of numerous eye diseases. In fact, the RNIB suggests that smokers are twice as likely to lose their vision entirely in later life than those who have never smoked. So if you are a smoker, it’s one more compelling reason that now’s the time to give up.
- Schedule regular appointments with your optician
People seem to be in the habit of going to regular doctor or dentist appointments (even if they’re just for checkups), but many people seem to neglect their eye health. Not only can your optician spot eye problems and diseases early, making treatment much more effective, but they can also spot signs of other, non eye related conditions that others may have missed.
- Improve your overall diet and nutrition
Nutrition plays a major part in keeping your eyes health, and preventing potentially dangerous or serious eye diseases. A healthy, balanced diet will ensure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants required to keep your eyes in top condition.
- Take a break from electronic screens and digital devices
Digital eyestrain is a very real problem in the modern world, given the amount of time we spend looking at electronic screens every day. Spending too long looking at a screen can result in headaches, dry eyes, eye strain and numerous other conditions. In fact, this infographic from Shade Station notes that cases of advancing myopia have increased by an incredible 35% since the introduction of smartphones.
- Wear sunglasses when you’re out in the sun
The sun is one of the biggest immediate dangers to your eyes, and direct exposure to it can result in serious eye conditions and injuries. When you’re planning on being out in the sun, make sure you’re wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes – opt for a pair that has 100% UV protection and polarised lenses for the best level of protection.
- Get plenty of exercise
Exercise can play a significant role in keeping your eyes healthy, and has been shown to greatly contribute to healthy vision. Even if you’re not participating in sport or going for runs, bike rides, etc. you can make the effort to get more exercise simply by walking more – there are plenty of opportunities to do this, for example by getting off the bus one stop early or volunteering for the daily coffee run at work.
- Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water plays a major part in overall health, and subsequently helps your body keep your eyes and vision functioning the way they should. Bear in mind you don’t need to be drinking bottled water to up your intake – any drink with water in it (including tea and coffee) will improve your hydration.
- Wear appropriate eye protection when completing potentially dangerous tasks
If you’re taking part in sport, working with dangerous machinery or even just doing some DIY at home, put some thought (and research) into any recommended eyewear protection. In the UK, the vast majority of admissions to eye hospitals is a result of preventable accidents – DIY alone is responsible for more than 20,000 eye injuries every year.
- Don’t share face cloths, cosmetics or handkerchiefs
Sharing make-up, handkerchiefs or even towels and face cloths can dramatically increase the chances of you getting an eye infection, and should be avoided as a general rule. However, this is particularly true if someone in your house has an eye infection, and should never be overlooked.
- Don’t sleep with make-up on
This last step is obviously aimed more at women than men, but it’s an important point. Many women go to bed with their make-up on, but this can lead to eye irritations or infections, particularly if it’s done regularly.