7 Keys to maintaining good eye health

1. Eat a healthy diet

Do not underestimate the power of a good healthy diet, your food intake can have a substantial effect on your eyes. Antioxidants can help to prevent retinal damage with lutein being particularly beneficial. Some foods that are especially good for your eye health include:

  • Greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli
  • Fruit and veg such as carrots, peppers, corn and citrus fruits
  • Omega 3 rich foods like oily fish (tuna, mackerel), walnuts and soya beans
  • Eggs

2. Exercise

Regular exercise is important in maintaining eye health particularly for those over the age of 60. Exercise ensures good blood flow reducing risks of hardened or narrowing arteries which can lead to high blood pressure and affect the supply of blood to the eyes. Lack of exercise and obesity can lead to Type 2 diabetes and can increase chances of developing sight threatening diabetic retinopathy.

3. Avoid excessive alcohol intake

According to The Royal College of Ophthalmologists “Alcohol abuse, particularly in heavy smokers who have also neglected their diet, is known to cause a toxic, progressive optic neuropathy. Typically, this causes bilateral, symmetrical, painless, visual impairment with loss of colour vision and a central visual field defect.”

4. Quit smoking

Smokers are at a much higher risk of gaining age related macular degeneration which is the biggest cause of blindness in the UK. Smoking also increases the likelihood of developing cataracts

5. Protect your eyes from the sun

No matter what, never look directly at the sun, doing so could potentially cause permanent damage to your eyes. It is also important to generally protect your eyes from the UV rays, this can be done with sunglasses marked with ‘CE’ as they offer the right protection according to British standards. Wide rim hats can help too.

6. Protect your eyes during hazardous work

If you are into DIY or work in an environment with exposure to potentially hazardous equipment it is important that you wear the correct protective eyewear for the duration of your work. Accidents can happen that can cause irreversible damage to the eye.

7. Regular sight checks

This is probably the most important measure you can take to maintain good eye health. Regular sight checks every two years or when you suspect a problem with your vision can go a long way in preventing eye issues. Catching conditions such as glaucoma early can allow for the necessary treatment to be arranged.

For more information on eye care and treatment services that we provide, simply browse our website or give us a call on 02084458877.

For more information on National Eye Health Week and how you can get involved, visit www.visionmatters.org.uk

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About the experts

Ms Bola Odufuwa | Consultant Ophthalmologist / Clinic Director

MBBS DO FRCS (Ed) FRCOphth MSc

Bola Odufuwa is a consultant ophthalmologist at The Royal Free Hospital and My-iClinic. She specialises in cataract, glaucoma, paediatric, and laser refractive surgery, and has had extensive training at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, where she gained expertise in the management of various eye conditions.

Odufuwa is a well-renowned activist and leader in ophthalmic care and gives lectures to optometrists and ophthalmologists around the globe. She is also regularly involved in the training of junior doctors and medical students.

Bola Odufuwa’s special interests include optimal refractive outcomes following cataract surgery, non-penetrating glaucoma surgery, and assessment eyesight in children with special needs: particularly dyslexia and autism.