image

4 tips for looking after your eye health this winter

Don’t take your eyes for granted. Protect your vision with this simple advice.

Good eyesight is a key part of being healthy, and helps you perform well, whether that’s at work, school or behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many of us tend to put our eye health last on the list of priorities, as our eyes usually don’t hurt when there is a problem.

Getting regular check-ups at the opticians is an important part of keeping on top of any unusual changes, but there are other things you can do to safeguard your sight.

Here are a few key lifestyle changes that could make all the difference…

1. Take regular breaks from your computer

Looking at TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones can cause eyestrain – early stage research has found that the blue light they emit can be harmful to the eyes, causing digital eyestrain and potentially retina damage.

The best way to avoid redness? Take a proper screen break; make a cup of tea, chat to a colleague or get some fresh air outside. The HSE (hse.gov.uk) suggest short, frequent breaks are better than less frequent, longer breaks.

Try following the 20-20-20 rule when you’re in the office. This means for every 20 minutes you look at a screen, you should gaze at something that is at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

2. Eat well

Maintaining your eye health can start with what you put on your plate. For optimum vision, plump for antioxidant-rich foods that are packed with Vitamins A and C, such as leafy green vegetables.

Fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, are particularly important too as they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help slow age-related degeneration of the macula – the part of the eye responsible for central vision.

3. Quit smoking

Quit smoking

According to the NHS, smokers are twice as likely to lose their sight compared to non-smokers. This is partly because noxious particles in cigarettes can irritate the eyes, and can increase the chances of developing cataracts. Smoking can also cause a number of eye conditions to worsen, such as diabetes-related sight problems.

Look into free ‘stop smoking’ services that can boost your chances of kicking the habit for good. For instance, your GP might be able to offer one-on-one support, drop-in services or group appointments. Visit NHS.uk to find out what’s available in your area.

4. Wear sunglasses

Exposure to the UV light emitted by the sun can contribute to cataracts and macular degeneration – even during the winter months.

A good pair of sunglasses can help keep your eyes safe on bright and chilly December days. Not all sunglasses protect you from harmful UV rays though, so make sure to do your research before picking up a pair of cheap but fashionable high street shades.

Look for a pair that offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB rays – it should usually indicate this on the tag, but ask your optician if you’re not sure. The more coverage from your sunglasses, the better the protection too – so swerve the tiny sunnies trend and opt for some oversized aviators instead.


Have you got a health question?

We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.

Click below to submit your question online.

ASK THE EXPERT

The following two tabs change content below.

The Press Association

News from the Press Association - the national news agency for the UK and Ireland

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!