An Optician’s eye view

10 ways to maintain healthy eyes.

1. Nutrition
A healthy balanced diet ensures a good supply of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Many diseases are related to poor nutrition including CataractsAge related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Retinopathy. Many fruits and vegetables contain high levels of antioxidants which can help to prevent the onset of these diseases.

2. Smoking
As well as the harm it does almost every organ in the body, smoking significantly increases the risk of developing eye disorders. The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke damage the fine blood vessels at the back of the eye and increase the risk ofAMD.

3. Makeup
Apply eye make with great care. Always use hypoallergenic products if you are sensitive to skin irritation and renew them around every 6 months or less to prevent the build up of bacteria. Always remove make up before you go to bed to let your skin breathe. Don’t swap eye make up with anyone to prevent cross infection.

4. Lens Hygiene
If you wear contact lenses always wash your hands before handling them. This is vital to prevent eye infections or damage to the contact lens. Always use the recommended cleaning solutions and don’t swim or shower whilst wearing your contact lenses as harmful bacteria may be present.

5. Sun UV Protection
Exposure to high levels of UV rays can burn or even cause permanent damage to your eyes. Always protect them from bright sunshine or reflected glare by wearing good quality sunglasses. Ensure the bear the CE mark which indicates that they are made to a high standard and contain UV filters in the lens material. If in doubt, speak to our fully trained staff.

6. DIY and Sports activities
Many activities create dust particles or flying debris causing thousands of accidents each year. Wearing suitable eye protection for the task reduces the risk of eye damage. Ask your Optometrist about the most suitable for of eye protection, especially if you wear glasses or contact lenses.

7. Foreign Bodies
If you think or feel you have something in your DO NOT rub the eye! Try pulling the upper eyelid upward and downwards to increase tear production which is often enough to flush the object away. If this is not successful after a few attempts, please call us for advice.

8. Computer & TV Screens
Prolonged concentration on a computer screen can cause dry irritated eyes, blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches. Take regular breaks from the monitor and increase your blink rate to restore the tear layer over your eyes. Eliminating glare and reflection, correct positioning of the screen and correct lighting can all help to minimize problems.

9. Clean up your act
Make sure your car windscreen and mirrors are clean and smear free. This will avoid glare form smears especially when driving at night. Clean your spectacle lenses regularly too. There are many purpose made cleaning products available which are anti-static and remove dust and smears properly. Also, remember to wash your lens cloth.

10. Prevention is the best detection
A regular eye examination will not only test whether you need any form of correction but can also detect the early onset or presence of disease. Your optometrist will check for the possible presence of any disease or abnormality and monitor your eye health to prevent any unnecessary deterioration or loss of sight. Changes in eye sight occur gradually so the sooner an eye problem is detected, the higher the chance of a successful treatment. Don’t take risks with your eyesight, have an eye test at least every two years.