Whether you wear glasses or not, looking after your eyes should be an important factor in the choices you make about your health and lifestyle. Having regular eye tests (at least every two years) is only the start - keeping your eyes well rested, protected and sun-safe are all just as important.
Take a look at our quick tips below to help keep your eyes in the best shape for as long as possible.
Take Regular Eye Exams
While some people get by with a pair of one-size-fits-all eyeglasses off the shelf at their local supermarket, you really can’t beat an eye exam from a trained optometrist. Unsuitable eyewear may worsen your eyesight and exacerbate undiagnosed conditions that might underlie vision loss.
It often isn’t obvious if there are any deeper eyesight problems affecting your vision, so popping down to the opticians is the only reliable way to detect whether harmful conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, or retinal detachment are affecting your eyesight, all of which can pose serious threats to vision if they aren’t identified and treated early on.
Additionally, eyesight complications such as astigmatism – whereby patients require a different prescription for each eye – can only be accommodated by bespoke correctional eyewear.
The NHS recommends having your eyes tested and prescriptions updated accordingly at least every two years. 20/20 vision is priceless, and nowadays quality glasses don’t even have to cost a fortune. Just look at our range.
Look Away from the Screen
Pictured: Jarrow Blue and Black White Digital
A recent survey discovered that adults spend an average of 9 hours and 22 minutes a day gazing into various screens – from smartphones, computer monitors, televisions, and tablets. The study indicated that nearly 8 of those hours comprise personal use, so you can only imagine how that figure skyrockets once we add those of us who work office jobs to the sample.
Our 21st century dependence on digital technology and the earlier age at which children are introduced to screens have collectively resulted in a spate of uniquely modern eyesight complications, from computer vision syndrome (CVS), to dry eye syndrome, and premature myopia (short-sightedness). Optometrists suggest a simple preventative measure known as the 20-20-20 rule, which states that for every 20 minutes of screen-time, you focus on an object 20ft away for 20 seconds. This easy method relaxes and recalibrates the eyes, and has been proven to significantly reduce symptoms of CVS and dry-eye to keep eyes functional and comfortable.
Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays
It isn’t enough for sunglasses to simply dim the sun’s brightness; the conscientious consumer should accept nothing short of CE-endorsed or British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1 certified eyewear. The UV filter in glasses and sunglasses carrying these accreditations protects the retina from the sun’s harmful rays, which are known to be risk factors in the formation of cataracts as well as macular degeneration.
As fleeting as our British summers might be, it isn’t just the sun that poses a threat to our eyes – blue-spectrum light from computer monitors, televisions, smartphones, and tablets, as well as the new energy saving LED light fittings businesses and councils are installing in their offices and streetlights respectively, are also culprits.
The level of protection offered by UV filter eyewear can vary, so speak with your optician for an evaluation. Even if you have perfect vision, it’s worth having a pair of UV-filter glasses lying around to help keep it that way. We have a variety of coatings available at iChoose.
Health and Safety
Pictured: Thirsk Clear and Matte Sky Blue
Simply maintaining good personal hygiene, washing your hands regularly, and avoiding rubbing your eyes go a long way to preventing most forms of fungal, viral, and bacterial eye infections, including conjunctivitis. If you wear contact lenses, ensuring the lenses are removed after the recommended period of use has expired will drastically reduce the risk of eye infection, as will frequently refreshing the cleansing solution in the overnight case (as with monthlies).
Different activities can pose different risks to your eyesight, but you can mostly mitigate these with a little foresight. When playing sports, it may be beneficial to opt for contact lenses over glasses, which could slip off or break. When doing DIY, physical labour, or handling chemicals it may be necessary to wear safety glasses to prevent any debris, dust, or fluids from damaging or irritating your eyes.
Threats to eyesight may present in any number of oblique ways, so it’s always best to approach hazardous activities with due caution.
There isn’t much in the human body that isn’t directly affected by what we choose to put in it, and the eyes are no different. There is a wealth of evidence for the links between medical conditions owing to poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle, and subsequent eyesight disorders. Amongst these are type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, which, on top of other serious health complications, may give rise to retinal vessel occlusions, glaucoma, and stroke related loss of vision.
Additionally, smoking contributes to blood pressure issues and diabetes, and reportedly doubles the chances of developing early-onset macular degeneration, as it can accelerate the cataract formation around the eye.
Beta-carotene (found in carrots), omega-3 (found in fish), lycopene (found in tomatoes), and vitamins C, A, and E (found in berries) are essential for maintaining optimal eye health. Even simple things like getting enough sleeping and drinking enough water will help keep your eyes hydrated and prevent fatigue, although contrary to popular belief, unfortunately eating carrots will not help you see in the dark.