Looking out for eye health this summer
Can you imagine a world without vision? Even though widely regarded as “the windows to the soul”, it can be easy to take our eyes for granted. Most of us already take steps to look after our skin, teeth and hair so here’s what you can do to make eye health a priority and show your peepers a little love.
A feast for the eyes
Diet plays an important part in the condition of our eyes. A.C.E. your vitamins to maintain their proper function with broccoli, strawberries and bell peppers which will give you a delicious fix of Vit C that (pound for pound) even oranges can’t top. Look to almonds, avocado and sweet potato for Vitamin E (nourishing skin, hair and eyes in a bonus package) and orange-coloured fruits and veg such as carrots, squash and apricots will keep your Vitamin A levels in check with their high levels of beta-carotene.
Green leafy veg such as kale, broccoli and spinach in particular contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant-based antioxidants that helps shield our eyes from excess levels of blue light, which can deteriorate eyesight in the long-term. Other eye-friendly foods are omega-3 fatty acids, readily found in dairy, fish and walnuts, as well as zinc found in chickpeas and shellfish.
Life through a lens
As well making you look cool-as, a good pair of sunglasses are key to protecting your eyes from harmful sunlight-exposure which can increase the risk of cataracts and cancerous growths. While making sure your sunnies come with complete 100% UV-A and B protection, you still want to look good, too. Cue perennial cool-meister Michael Kors, one of the quintessential proponents of 60/70s-style sunglasses (think Cat’s Eye, Aviator and Jackie-O frames) for the modern-vintage look. There are a range of shops you can pick up a pair, but this site offers a great range of styles for UK customers in particular.
Regular eye exams
Eye exams are like remembering to clean out a desk drawer… something we always mean to do but never get around to doing! At around age 40, your eyesight tends to take a downward turn, so be sure to book yourself in for frequent eye exams to ensure that any accumulative age-related eye issues, such as glaucoma, can be stopped in their tracks at an early stage. For everyone else, opticians recommend a general checkup every three years, so don’t delay if the last time you paid your eye doctor a visit was sometime before the mobile phone was invented.
Never sleep in old contact lenses
We’ve all been guilty of falling asleep in our makeup/clothes/bathtub after a-few-too-many tipples on a night out, but if you do manage to do one thing before hitting the pillow, definitely make taking your contacts out a priority. When contacts which aren’t designed for overnight use are left in overnight, the closed lids deprive the eye of oxygen (even more than the contact lens layer already does), causing the eye to swell and allowing bacteria to work its way in – leaving you vulnerable to infection.
Break-up with cigarettes
It may seem as though quitting smoking is the answer to every health complaint… Unfortunately, those little white sticks really are that bad for you! Aside from the increased risk of lung and throat cancer, heart disease, stroke and premature aging, smoking is also bad news for your eyes. Smokers are at an increased risk of developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD); in fact, they’re doubly likely to develop it than those who have never smoked.
If you’re serious about quitting smoking for the sake of your eyes (and other body parts), check out some of the official websites and apps out there to help you kick the habit once and for all.
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