Many people feel losing their eyesight is inevitable as they age, but in actual fact, good lifestyle choices can keep deterioration at bay for life.
The eyes are commonly referred to as ‘the windows to the soul’ and work incredibly hard every day, expressing our every emotion and gracing us with the gift of sight. But it’s important to remember that your eyes aren’t free from the risk of wear and just like any other part of the body, they need continuous TLC to stay healthy.
Watch what you eat
What you eat affects every one of your body’s functions and organ health – the eyes are no exception. According to the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study), certain nutrients including vitamins C and E, beta carotene, copper, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are thought to lower the risk of age-related sight deterioration by as much as 25%.
Omega-3 is the most recent addition to this list and has been found to reverse dry eyes, which can often occur from too much screen time. Look to oily fish including anchovies, sardines and mackerel to find your Omega-3, nuts and legumes for vitamin E, citrus fruits for vitamin C and beef, chicken and pork loin for zinc and copper intake.
Finally, don’t forget the all-important role of hydration. Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining a healthy balance of fluid in your eyes, which will help to wash away any debris when you blink.
There isn’t any part of your body that goes unaffected by smoking, particularly if you’ve been a smoker for several years. Shockingly, heavy smokers (classed as those who smoke 15 cigarettes a day or more) are three times more likely to develop cataract than non-smokers.
Smoking also heightens your risk of developing diabetes, which can lead to swelling in the macula and destroy your ability to focus your eyes properly. A
nother indirect example of how smoking affects your eyesight is it inhibits your body’s ability to absorb vitamin C, a vital nutrient required for a whole host of functions, including sight.
Sunglasses don’t exist just to be an accessory, though many of us are more concerned with how they look than the level of protection they can offer against UV light.
Continually exposing your eyes to UV light can increase your risk of developing cancer around the eye area and damage the sensitive skin that surrounds the eyes.
Next time you purchase a pair of sunglasses, be sure to choose a pair with lenses that have a 99-100% protection against UVB (these are the rays thought to cause most skin cancers) and UVA rays, or shades that block 75-90% of visible light.
Don’t ignore headaches
If you’re often sat in front of a computer or It can be easy to put headaches down to simply not having looked up for a while.
But chronic and frequent headaches could be a sign that you need glasses. It’s imperative that you don’t ignore these signs and see a specialist as soon as possible, as this could save your eyes from damage later in life.
We leave you with a quote from legendary US poet Henry David Thoreau: ‘The eye is the jewel of the body’.
Make sure you take care of them folks!