Health

Five Easy Ways to Maintain Healthy Vision

We all know it’s important to stay healthy if we want to live a long and happy life. In fact, with the uptake of popular fitness tracking technology and a growing interest in healthy and organic produce, it seems we’re now more focused than ever on our own wellbeing.

But are we paying as much attention to one of our most sensitive features - our eyes?

Here are a few tips to help you look after your eyes and maintain healthy vision throughout your life.

1. Make healthy food choices

While the importance of healthy eating can’t be overstated for general well being, energy levels and for keeping our waistlines in check, a balanced diet can also have a huge impact on our eye health.

And particularly as we age, vitamins C and E, as well as nutrients omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin and lutein can all play an important role in preserving healthy vision.

So though you’re likely familiar with the link between carrots and vision, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are well worth including in your meal time prep too. Spinach is also high in magnesium, which is known to help combat the effects of stress and anxiety - always important in our increasingly busy lives!

Alongside your greens you can include oily fish such as salmon and tuna, protein sources such as eggs or nuts (also good for maintaining high energy levels), and citrus fruits.

As the saying goes; you are what you eat, so making some simple healthy food choices will go a long way to ensuring your healthy vision will follow you through life.

2. Protect your eyes against UV light

We all enjoy getting out on sunny days, and we’re usually pretty good at ensuring we’ve got the right protection to hand when we do - right? But what about when the clouds roll over and we swap our sunglasses out for prescriptions?

Contrary to popular belief, cloud cover is only shown to reduce the amount of UV light in our atmosphere by around 10%, leaving us open to 90% of UV rays and the associated issues which can arise - irritation, photokeratitis (also known as snow blindness) and cataracts.

Not to mention premature ageing - yikes!

And if you think your current prescription lenses do offer 100% UV protection, you may be in for a shock. While many lenses claim to offer full protection from UV light, most will only protect your eyes up to 380 nanometres (nm) of the UV spectrums 400nm.

Luckily, Zeiss have now released a world-first innovation in UV-protected prescription eyewear called UVProtect. This clear prescription lens offers complete UV protection up to 400nm - the entire UV spectrum!

We’re pretty excited about this one. Learn more about UVProtect here.

Protect your eyes against UV light Protect your eyes against UV light

3. Cut back on screen time

It’s likely very few of us can claim to be particularly restrained when it comes to screen use - for better or worse, TVs, tablets, smartphones and smartwatches have taken over our lives!

The impact this is having on our vision is particularly profound, as we’ve not properly evolved to focus so intently on objects so close to us for such an amount of time. Couple this with constant shifting between near and distant vision and you have a pretty good recipe for eye strain, as well as shoulder and neck pains.

Assuming you’re like us and consider yourself somewhat inseparable from your screens, there are a few easy tricks you can use to keep your eyes happy during long days in the office:

> Take a 20-20-20 break by looking away from your screen every 20 minutes to focus on something 20 metres away for about 20 seconds. This will help your eyes maintain healthy long distance vision, effectively balancing out the muscles in your eyes after all that near distance straining.

> Speak to your eye care professional about digital lenses, like those designed by Zeiss. Often more applicable to people into their 30’s and above, digital lenses help counteract symptoms of screen use such as near vision discomfort.

> Try to blink more. When we’re using screens we often ‘forget’ to blink, which can cause our eyes to dry out. If you’re experiencing dry eyes, try to stop every now and then for a good blink, or talk to your optometrist about eye drops.

Interested in Zeiss Digital Lenses? Book a FREE eye test and chat to our expert optometrists about how you can best protect your eyes from digital strain.

4. Quit (or never take up) smoking

Smoking is well known to be bad for our health, and has been clearly linked to a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Even when just considering the health of your eyes, one of the best decisions you could make is to give up smoking or, if you’re not a smoker, never start!

On top of an increased risk of uveitis (inflammation of the eye’s middle layer) and diabetic retinopathy, smoking has been shown to increase your chances of developing AMD (age-related macular degeneration) up to three times, causing changes to your central vision which make everyday tasks such as reading or driving incredibly difficult or even impossible.

And giving up smoking isn’t just good for your own eye health - it can also spare those around you from the effects of secondhand smoke which has been shown to have similar effects on the vision of others as it could have to the smoker.

So while we’re sure you’re not under any misconceptions of the dangers of smoking, and the harm it can do to your body, the impact it can have on your eye health (and that of those around you) can’t be understated.

Get your eyes tested regularly Get your eyes tested regularly

5. Get your eyes tested regularly

It’s easy to overlook deficiencies in our vision (pun intended).

A lot of the time, what we think of as normal may actually be indicative of underlying issues with our eye health. Not only that, some issues such as glaucoma or macular degeneration have very minor or no warning signs.

Even if you’re not experiencing telltale signs such as headaches, blurred vision or neck pains, it’s worth having a check up with an eye health professional once every 12 months to ensure your vision is every bit as sharp as it could be, and that your general eye health is tip top.

Fancy dropping into our Shoreditch Eyebar for a world-class eye test, backed by some of the most advanced technology available?

Book a FREE eye test