Your Doctor

10 Tips For Eye Health

Your eyes rarely hurt when there's a problem so it’s important to have regular checks not only to see if you need glasses but also to ensure your eyes remain healthy. 

1. If you’re a regular smoker you could be causing severe damage to your vision. Smoking increases the chances of developing a cataract which occurs when the lens of the eye becomes progressively cloudy resulting in blurred vision. 

2. Know if someone in your family has a pre-existing eye condition because you may be more vulnerable to developing that same disease in the future, but something may be able to be done in advance to help you.

3. Regular exercise and physical activity will help all aspects of your health including your eyes. For example, people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have issues with their eyesight which can include damaged retinas (retinopathy). High blood pressure and medications ie steroids can also affect your eye health. 

4. For those of you who wear contact lenses, don’t ever use out of date solution, give your eyes a regular break, avoid swimming and showering with them in and if you have a particularly bad cold, avoid wearing them altogether.

5. You can keep your eyes healthy by ensuring you are eating omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein and vitamins C and E. These minerals can help ward off age-related vision problems, cataracts and general deterioration. Food that are thought to contribute towards good eye health are oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna, and green leafy vegetables including kale and spinach.

6. Never look at the sun directly as you could cause irreversible damage to your eyesight. Too much sunlight exposure is a risk factor for cataracts. Wearing the right pair of sunglasses in bright weather will help shield your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Choose a pair of sunglasses that blocks out 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

7. Use professional safety eyewear if you work in a hazardous environment, particularly when involving airborne materials. The majority of workplace eye injuries are caused by flying, falling or sparking small particles or objects such as metal slivers, wood chips or dust which strike or scrape the eye. Nearly three-fifths of these objects are thought to be smaller than a pinhead.

8. Have an annual eye exam – Visit your nearest optometrist for regular check-ups especially if you are concerned about your vision deteriorating or have symptoms such as a flickering eye lid. Don’t leave it to get worse.

9. Spending a lot of time watching television or staring at the computer screen for long lengths of time can cause eye irritation which can lead to greater problems with the eyes. Limit your screen time and take breaks.

10. Be careful when using chemicals such as oven cleaners, bleach, weed killers and fertilisers as they can cause severe harm to your eyes. Lock harmful chemicals away from infants.