Mark Pickering

Eye Care

Six ways to keep your eyes healthy

Six ways to keep your eyes healthy

Eye health is an integral part of your entire wellbeing. While your eyesight changes as you reach more birthdays, regular eye checks together with a few important lifestyle considerations can ensure your vision remains healthy for as long as possible.

Whether it’s seeing some of the world’s most iconic attractions in your round-the-world trip in retirement or watching as your grandchildren grow into beautiful human beings, being able to see the world around you is an important part of anyone’s life.  

It’s one of the five senses that most of us take for granted and therefore, debilitating, if it were to slowly disappear. However, while your eyesight does change as you get older, it doesn’t have to mean significant impaired vision. Here’s some tips to keep your eyesight in tiptop shape.

Shade your eyes. Protect your eyes, along with your skin, from the sun’s rays with good quality sunglasses with a built-in UV filter. Strong light from the sunshine can damage your eyes and may increase your risk of cataracts, which are cloudy areas inside the normally clear lens of the eye. They can develop in one or both eyes.

Eat your vegies. Not only is eating a healthy, well-balanced diet important for you to maintain weight, reduce your risk of disease and ultimately make you feel a lot better, it’s also important for your eyes. A diet high in fruits and vegetables will help protect against some eye conditions, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Some of the fruits, vegetables and other nutrient-rich food to consider include: leafy greens, salmon or tuna, nuts, dark pigment fruits, such as berries, citrus fruits and avocado.

Don’t read in the dark. If you’re reading in the deepening evening, protect your peepers by using good lighting. In your 60s, your eyes will need three times as much light as they did when you were 20. If reading at night, use direct light, such as a flexible table tamp or book light to illuminate the words you’re reading.

Give up smoking. While this is easier said than done for those who smoke, there really is good reason to try and give up cigarettes. One of these reasons is smoking is one of the major factors for the early development of age-related macular degeneration. It causes the acceleration of atherosclerotic plaques in the walls of arteries, which are collections of cholesterol and fat. This isn’t great for your heart, since these plaques gradually block arteries which limit blood flow, so how does this affect the eye? Well, this can disrupt blood flow to the macular area of the retina. When this blood vessel damage happens, it causes a gradual failure of vision.

Keep those scales in check. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of diabetes, which can lead to sight loss. Plus, good circulation and oxygen intake are important for your eye health, both of which are stimulated by regular exercise. Get moving to maintain a healthy weight and promote blood flow!

A good night’s sleep. Give your eyes the rest they deserve by getting a good night’s sleep. Research has shown that a minimum of at least five hours of sleep is needed to properly replenish and rest your eyes. This is the time when your eyes are continuously lubricated and irritants, such as dust, that may have accumulated during the day are cleared away.

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