At Louise Sloan Opticians we are firm believers in bringing our patients on board to look after the health of their eyes. Comprehensive eye examinations to screen for major eye diseases are, of course, an absolute must but we also feel strongly that our patients have a big role to play in keeping their eyes as healthy as possible. Here are our 5 top tips to looking after your eyes:
- Eat your greens. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, are rich sources of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin and assist the layers of the macula to slow down a build-up of deposits in that region. If allowed to build up, these deposits can cause blurring and distortion to your vision. Studies show people with diets rich in these nutrients have the lowest risk for posterior subcapsular cataracts.
- Healthy fats. Fish oils found in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon and trout will also offer the same help. A large European study published in 2008 found that participants who ate oily fish at least once per week reduced their risk of developing neovascular macular degeneration by half, compared to those who ate fish less than once per week. However, the canning process for tinned fish destroys the beneficial effects of the omega compound so always eat fresh and unprocessed fish if you can!
- Keep your shades on. Everyone knows to wear a hat and sunglasses when the sun is out to protect against harmful UV rays, but how often do we forget? The eye occupies less than 2 per cent of the whole-body surface area, but it represents the sole organ system to allow the penetration of visible light deep into the human body. Transition lenses that go light and dark depending on the light conditions outside are a great solution if you’re a little forgetful and prefer the convenience. Excessive UV is linked to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), cataracts as well as lesions around the eye lid area. So not only are sunglasses the perfect fashion accessory but they are also a big health benefit to your eyes. And don’t forget your children! We highly recommend that kids also wear sunglasses, especially on holidays if they are spending a lot of time outdoors.
- Smoking ban. Quitting smoking at any age can reduce your risk of developing many sight-threatening eye conditions and smokers double their risk of developing AMD, one of the UK’s leading causes of sight loss. Treatment options for AMD are limited so don’t delay on taking action.
- Allergies. Left untreated, the irritating effects of allergies and hay fever can build up and become more difficult to control. We offer advice on how you keep them under control and reduce the symptoms. For hay fever we recommend anti-histamines, cold eye compresses and regular washing of pillows during the peak months. We also offer our patients advice on blepharitis and dry eye that can be very uncomfortable and sometimes very distressing. In one study the discomfort of dry eye can be as bad as the symptoms of angina! Therefore, we recommend the use of artificial tears, warm compresses and lid care.
Keeping yourself fit, healthy and happy is just as important for your eyes as it is for any other organ in your body.
Come and visit us, and we’d be happy to provide some personalised advice to help keep your eyes in tip top condition.