Ask most people what their New Year Resolutions are, and health and wellbeing are up there – but what about better eye health?
As New Year health resolutions kick in, experts provide new advice on how to take better care of eyes in 2020, as well as their bodies, highlighting how our lifestyles mean we need to be taking more responsibility than ever before.
Why make looking after your eyes a New Year Resolution for 2020?
Today’s lifestyles are having a more significant impact on eye health than ever before. From screens to sunshine – our eyes are having to work extremely hard.
Recent figures released by the IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) have revealed that eye-related health issues in the UK could reach epidemic proportions within just 30 years. Yet, as many as 50% of cases related to vision impairment could be avoided with better eye care.
By 2050, it is predicted that the number of people with sight loss in the UK will double to over four million due to undiagnosed or mismanaged eye conditions. Still, this number can be significantly reduced with proper eye care.
Resolution 1: Put vision first in 2020
Essilor.co.uk, a leading corrective lens manufacturer, is spearheading a drive to increase awareness of the state of the nation’s eye health and is encouraging people to put their vision first and undergo regular eye health checks to help avoid vision impairment.
Dr. Andy Hepworth from Essilor.co.uk says: “It’s not just the older generation who need to take better care of their eyes. It is now thought that lifestyle has a significant impact.
“Around 70% of adults now need corrective lenses, which is an incredibly significant number. But as well as corrective lenses, new innovations in the field mean non-prescription lenses can now offer significant health benefits to meet the lifestyle needs of modern living, easing eye issues and protecting the eyes from damaging external factors, such as digital screens and blue or UV light.
“Poor eye health has been linked to issues including low productivity at work and difficulty participating in social situations, both of which can have a significant impact on our quality of life and mental wellbeing.
“It is imperative we as a nation, understand what warning signs to look out for when it comes to the health of our eyes and seek professional help when needed.”
Resolution 2: Use These Top Tips For Eye Health
Up to half of sight loss cases are avoidable, just by looking after the eyes properly.
Essilor.co.uk has devised a list of tips to keep on top of your eye health and show how to spot the warning signs early on.
Maintain a healthy diet and weight: It is recommended to include plenty of omega-3 fats and lutein for optimum eye health.
Omega-3 can be found in fish such as salmon and tuna, while lutein is found in dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale. Vitamins A, C and E can also help to maintain healthy eyes and vision. Smoking is also detrimental to vision, increasing the risk of cataracts and damage to the optic nerve. Quitting smoking will significantly reduce these risks.
Be aware of family health history: many eye conditions can be hereditary; long and short-sightedness can run in the family, as can more severe conditions such as glaucoma. If vision problems occur in the family tree, more regular eye examinations would be necessary to help detect conditions before they become more serious.
Protect eyes from UV and blue-violet light: overexposure to UV and blue-violet light can have a negative impact on vision, with both responsible for causing the most external damage to eyesight. Both are emitted from the sun, but blue-violet light is also produced from LEDs. UVA rays from the sun can pass through the cornea of your eye and onto the retina, leading to a number of health conditions including cataracts and premature eye ageing.
Blue-violet light has recently been identified as causing damage to retinal cells. Corrective and non-prescription lenses can both be enhanced to filter out harmful light using lens coatings and embedded filtration systems. When buying sunglasses, it’s important to check that they block 100% of UVA and UVB light and that they carry the CE or British Standard marks of quality.
Implement ‘digital device downtime’: the increased use in digital devices with pixelated screens impact on eyesight. CVS – Visual fatigue is becoming increasingly common in the UK and is exasperated by looking at digital screens where the pixels constantly refresh, causing the eyes to refocus to see clearly always.