How to keep your eyes healthy

A healthy lifestyle can do more than improve your general wellbeing, it can also protect your vision. But what specific things can you do to help keep your eyes healthy and reduce your chances of eye disease and vision loss? 

Have regular eye tests

Even though your eyes may feel fine, some conditions don’t cause symptoms until the advanced stages. It’s important to have regular eye tests so your optometrist can check your eye health as well as your vision to detect any early changes in your eyes. 

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Eating well is important for your overall health, but some nutrients are particularly good for your eyes. Look for foods that are high in zinc, vitamins A and C, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids. This includes foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, avocados, sweet potatoes, eggs, nuts, chia seeds, hemp and flaxseed, as well as oily fish such as salmon and mackerel.

Maintaining a healthy weight will also help reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, which can affect your eye health.

Quit smoking

Smokers are at higher risk of developing several eye conditions including cataracts, age-related macular degeneration and optic neuropathy (damage to the optic nerve which connects your eyes to your brain). Speak to your GP if you need support to quit smoking.

Wear sunglasses

Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your eyes. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses with 99-100% UV protection to shield your eyes from these UV rays. Try wraparound glasses as these will protect your eyes from both the sides and the front. If you wear contact lenses, use ones with UV protection and wear your sunglasses as well for extra protection. 

Wash your hands

Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching your eyes, as germs can be transferred from your hands to your eyes and cause infections such as conjunctivitis. If you wear contact lenses, make sure you do this before putting in or taking out your lenses.

Wear protective eyewear

If you work in a factory, construction site, laboratory, or anywhere where you may be exposed to debris or chemicals, make sure you wear protective goggles or safety glasses to prevent eye injuries. 

If you take part in sports such as hockey or tennis, where there is a risk of eye injury, make sure you wear appropriate protective eyewear. 

Take screen breaks

Spending a long time looking at digital screens can cause headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, eye strain, and head, neck and shoulder pain. Use the 20-20-20 rule; take a screen break every 20 minutes and look at something else about 20 feet (6 metres) away for 20 seconds. 

We hope you've found this article useful, however, it cannot be a substitute for a consultation with a specialist

If you're concerned about symptoms you're experiencing or require further information on the subject, talk to a GP or see an expert consultant at your local Spire hospital.

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Author Information

Cahoot Care Marketing

Niched in the care sector, Cahoot Care Marketing offers a full range of marketing services for care businesses including: SEO, social media, websites and video marketing, specialising in copywriting and content marketing.

Over the last five years Cahoot Care Marketing has built an experienced team of writers and editors, with broad and deep expertise on a range of care topics. They provide a responsive, efficient and comprehensive service, ensuring content is on brand and in line with relevant medical guidelines.

Their writers and editors include care sector workers, healthcare copywriting specialists and NHS trainers, who thoroughly research all topics using reputable sources including the NHS, NICE, relevant Royal Colleges and medical associations.

The Spire Content Hub project was managed by:

Lux Fatimathas, Editor and Project Manager

Lux has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from UCL, a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and experience as a postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology. She has a clear and extensive understanding of the biological and medical sciences. Having worked in scientific publishing for BioMed Central and as a writer for the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National University of Singapore, she is able to clearly communicate complex concepts.

Catriona Shaw, Lead Editor

Catriona has an English degree from the University of Southampton and more than 12 years’ experience copy editing across a range of complex topics. She works with a diverse team of writers to create clear and compelling copy to educate and inform.

Alfie Jones, Director — Cahoot Care Marketing

Alfie has a creative writing degree from UCF and initially worked as a carer before supporting his family’s care training business with copywriting and general marketing. He has worked in content marketing and the care sector for over 10 years and overseen a diverse range of care content projects, building a strong team of specialist writers and marketing creatives after founding Cahoot in 2016.