Your eyes are an important part of your health. There are many things you can do to keep them healthy and make sure you are seeing your best:
- Eat right to protect your sight. You’ve heard carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens is important for keeping your eyes healthy too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions, which can lead to vision loss, such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.
- Wear protective eyewear. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home. Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.
- Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.
- Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.
- Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.
For more information on eye health please visit NHS Choices.
Regular eye test is part of a healthy lifestyle for your eye health. You should get your eye tested every two year. Find out if you are entitled to free NHS Eye Checks.
Urgent Eye Problems
You should consult with your doctor as soon as possible if you:
- have a sudden serious change in your vision
- lose all or part of your vision in one eye or both eyes
- have an accident involving your eyes
- suddenly start seeing flashing lights or floaters in your vision.
Driving and Vision
You must inform the DVLA if you have a problem that affect both your eyes or the remaining eye if you only have one eye. See this website for more information on driving and eyesight rules: https://www.gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules
Visit Patient UK website for information on eye conditions.