Health How To

Top 5 tips to protect your vision

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Start caring for your essential senses with our five top tips to protect your vision.

Looking after your vision should be a priority for everyone, regardless of your age and previous health conditions. While those with a history of eye problems should be particularly vigilant, people with seemingly perfect eyesight should also be careful.

There are a number of everyday activities that can affect vision, from the weather to the food you eat. Just a few minor adjustments to your everyday routine can help keep your eyes as healthy as possible.

Use prescription sunglasses

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory, but rather an essential tool in eye protection. It acts as a filter to the sun’s rays, reflecting harmful UV rays that can actually cause cataracts. A little known fact is that your eyes can get sunburnt, causing a condition called photokeratitis. A pair of prescription sunglasses not only ensure you can see perfectly but protect your corneas from these harsh rays that you may not even notice damaging your eyes.

Go for regular checkups

Many people only visit the optician when they notice something is wrong, but preventative measures are essential before a problem worsens. You may not realise there is an issue before experiencing bad symptoms, whereas going for regular appointments can help catch these problems early, thus making them easier to treat.

If you’ve had no sight issues in the past, don’t wear glasses and don’t have a family history of eye problems, it’s recommended you go every one to two years. If this isn’t the case and you have one or more of these issues, you should talk to your optician about how often you should visit.

Take regular breaks from screens

Many of us spend all day on a screen, only to return home and go on our phones or watch TV. The blue light within these screens can cause eye strain, dryness and difficulty focusing, which is why it’s essential to take a break every so often.

Rather than taking long breaks, it’s more effective to take five to fifteen-minute breaks away from your screen around every hour or so. It’s better to take more frequent but shorter breaks, so try to get away from your desk when you can. Eye drops can help with eye strain or dryness, as can blue lens glasses.

Eat a balanced diet

Did you know that what you eat affects not only your stomach and digestive system, but your eyes as well? If you don’t get enough of the right nutrients, such as Vitamin A and C, your macula can be damaged.

Located close to the retina, your macula sends signals to the brain that help you see clearly, making it an essential part of your vision. Make sure you eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods, including leafy greens, beans and fish.

Don’t smoke

You may be aware of the impact smoking has on your lungs, but it also negatively affects your eyesight too. As a smoker, you’re more likely to develop cataracts and the aforementioned macular degeneration, among other things. It’s wise to quit smoking to keep your health in check, including your vision.

There are a number of benefits to making these suggested changes, especially having a healthy diet and quitting smoking. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to care for not only your eyesight but your entire body.

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