Our sight is possibly the most important sense we possess, yet how often do we think about looking after our eyes?
We tend to progress through life without giving our ability to see much thought – the only time we consider our vision is when something goes wrong.
In reality though, there are numerous things we could and should be doing to ensure our eyes stay healthy – here are some easy ways to protect your eyesight.
Wear Eye Protection
Whenever we are exposed to strong sunlight, sunglasses should always be worn. Scientific studies have demonstrated that UV resistant sunglasses help to protect the eyes, and can even slow down the development of cataracts.
If you work in an environment where dust or airborne debris are present, then safety goggles should always be worn. Nearly 70% of eye injuries are caused in the workplace, so it is essential that health and safety procedures are followed and adequate PPE is worn when necessary.
Even at home, certain DIY tasks can be dangerous – be sure to protect your eyes if the situation demands it.
The foods we eat play a big part in supporting our eye health, and may also contribute to their decline.
A high-sugar diet should be avoided as it increases blood glucose levels, generating an excess of free radicals that often results in vision problems. Diabetic Retinopathy damages blood vessels in the retina – this disturbs vision, and if left untreated can progress to the severe consequence of total blindness.
Luckily, there are some foods and nutrients that can enhance our eye health too.
Chickpeas, milk, and chicken contain high amounts of zinc, which has been proven to lower the risk of macular degeneration by 25%. In addition, fish and other food sources of omega 3 can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Cooked kale and egg yolks are also eye-health powerhouses. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin – both shown to help prevent cataracts from developing.
Sedentary lifestyles are a threat to our general well-being, and unfortunately, our eyesight may also suffer due to inactivity.
Children who stay indoors more frequently wear glasses, and their chances of short-sightedness is increased. Simply by encouraging children to play outside can you make it more likely that their eyes will grow correctly and the risk of myopia will diminish.
For adults, exercising and being active will also offer a high-level of protection against eye disease. Walking keeps our eyes healthier by lowering the incidence of cataracts, while running helps massively – the chances of cataracts fall by 50% if you run regularly.
All of these suggestions will keep our eyes healthier, but the biggest impact is felt when they are practiced together. The combination of exercising, eating well, and wearing eye protection when we need it can make a real difference to our visual abilities. It is also important to note that attending eye check-ups every 2 years will spot any problems early on – so never miss an appointment!