Ten Tips for Better Eye Health

With contributions from: Suzanne Dennis Bsc Hons MCOptom


Tip One – Eye Care

  • Have an eye test at least every two years, to check not only your vision but also your eye and general health -don`t forget an NHS test is FREE if you are over 60.


Tip Two – Eyewear

  • Wear your glasses or contact lenses to help you perform better at work, rest and play.
  • Have more than one pair for specific tasks.
  • Glasses these days can look and feel fantastic can change your image in an instant.
  • Contact lenses are now available in most prescriptions and new materials mean they can be comfortable for long periods or just worn on a part time flexible basis.


Tip Three – Eye Protection

  • UV protection for Eyes is as important as sunscreen for skin. Harmful UVA and UVB are invisible rays contained in sunlight and may be a factor in a number of eye diseases particularly cataract.


Tip Four – Stop Smoking

  • 13 million smokers are doubling their chances of sight loss in later life.
  • Age-related macular degeneration AMD is the UK`s leading cause of sight loss.500,000 people have AMD and an estimated 54,000 have the condition as a result of smoking.
  • The link is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer and yet very few people are aware of it.


Tip Five – Eat a Balanced Diet

  • Good nutrition is important for both general and eye health. It helps the body to grow, repair wear and tear ,protect against infection and function properly.
  • It is important to maintain a healthy weight obesity increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes which in turn can lead to sight loss.
  • Clinical trials have shown antioxidant vitamins found in certain foods to be beneficial to eye health particularly fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and oily fish.


Tip Six – Blink Frequently

  • The tear film is important for maintaining a healthy cornea and conjunctiva.
  • A dry eye condition can produce symptoms of sore red eyes, a foreign body sensation and grittiness. Your Eyesore professional can assess the tear film and advise on the use of lubricating drops and gels or alternatives like the Eyebag.
  • Regular blinking is important to re-distribute the tear film especially when using a computer or reading.


Tip Seven – Drink Water

  • Drink at least 6 -8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
  • Your tears and the delicate skin around the eyes are particularly susceptible to dryness.
  • De-hydration can lead to headaches.


Tip Eight – Wash Your Hands

  • Regular hand washing helps reduce the spread of colds, runny eyes and eye infections like conjunctivitis.
  • Hygiene is of the utmost importance when handling contact lenses and contact lens cases. Micro-organisms can be transferred onto the lenses and introduce infection into the eye.


Tip Nine – Be Aware

  • Be aware of your family history of eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Some sight threatening conditions like glaucoma have no symptoms and could cause you to lose 40% of your vision before you notice a difference.
  • Flashes and Floaters may be a sign of retinal tear or detachment and require urgent investigation.


Tip Ten – Take Prompt Action

  • If you experience any change with your eyes prompt diagnosis and treatment can help reduce long-term problems.
  • We are here to give you advice on how to prevent or delay onset and picking up these conditions could save your sight.
  • Every day ask yourself “ Do my eyes look good, feel good and see well?”

Shopping List for Eye Health

  • Vitamins A,C and E found in:
  • Oranges
  • Kiwis
  • Grapefruit
  • Dried apricots
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Raw carrots
  • Leafy greens-spinach and kale
  • Green peas and beans
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Also found in nuts,seeds,dairy products and eggs
  • and oily fish


Vitamins and Supplements

  • There are now dietary supplements available following a large research trial AREDS 2 which showed that the progression to advanced AMD could be slowed down.The recommended doses for this formula are:
  • Vitamin C 500mg
  • Vitamin E 400IU
  • Lutein 10mg
  • Zeaxanthin 2mg
  • Zinc 25mg or 80mg
  • Copper 2mg (added to the formula as high levels of zinc can reduce the amount of copper in the body)
  • Some people who have AMD may like to consider taking supplements after consultation with their GP.
  • Beta carotene should not be taken by smokers.