As we age our eyesight can be prone to deterioration, however there are things that can be done to help – including regularly booking in visits to get your eyes checked by a professional. In addition to this, there are several ways you can alter your lifestyle in order to maintain bright, healthy eyes.
Here, award-winning Optometrist Sona Thakerar and Founder of Independent and Eyewear Boutique Aston & Woods offers her top tips on maintaining healthy eyes.
Sona Thakerar says: Recent studies suggest that by performing light exercise 3 or 4 times a week, you can reduce your chances of developing macular degeneration by 70%. Grab your trainers and get moving, because exercise can also decrease your chances of developing diabetes which can lead to blood vessel damage in the retina at the back of the eye. Regular exercise can also lower eye pressures, a major risk factor for glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness in Britain, affecting one in fifty people over forty.
Sona Thakerar says: Oily fish is essential to maintaining eye health as they are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help in maintaining a healthy tear film. Salmon is particularly good for maintaining eye health as it offers both types of omega-3 fatty acids the eyes need to work well: DHA and EPA. Not a fish fan? Cod liver oil capsules are also a good source of Omega-3.
Dark leafy greens contain carotenoids that reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration. Carotenoids can be found in green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli.
Reduce screen time
Sona Thakerar says: Whilst it’s almost inevitable that at some point during your day you will most likely use some kind of electronic screen, it is important that we make a conscious effort to take regular breaks in between to avoid dry eye related issues. Dry eye is induced or worsened as a consequence of a reduced blink rate where the tear film evaporates off the surface of the eyes at a quicker rate than normal. Regular breaks away from visual display screens will also help in maintaining good muscle functionality.
Sona Thakerar says: Research shows that there is a direct link between smoking and macular degeneration which can lead to visual impairment. If you want to avoid central vision loss, ridding yourself of this habit is essential.
Sona Thakerar says: UV exposure from the sun’s rays contribute to cataract formation, eye cancers and skin tags on the whites of the eyes. Sunglasses are essential in protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, BUT they must be the right kind of sunglasses! Cheaper sunglasses don’t always provide full UVA and UVB protection, so it is worth investing in a slightly more expensive pair with a better UV filter. Use optical quality sunspecs to ensure full UVA and UVB protection.
Clean the external eye-lids
Sona Thakerar says: Whether you wear make-up or not, clearing your eyelashes should be an essential part of your daily routine. Your lashes function to trap debris and dust to prevent it from entering the eyes. If this build up is not removed it can lead to irritation and possible infection. Use medicated lid wipes, available from most opticians, to cleanse and remove debris.