How to look after your eye health

How to look after your eye health


Did you know that in the UK, nearly 2 million people have severe sight loss, which is enough to impact their daily lives? That's about one in 30 people!

This means you likely fall within this statistic, or perhaps no one else does. Plus, this whopping number shows the growing need for why you should be prioritising your eye health.

If you don't, you could be at risk of vision loss, experiencing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, many more conditions and, in the worst case, blindness.

So, if you don't want to put yourself at risk of those, dive in with us today; we'll share how to take proactive steps to protect our vision.

Basic overview of your eyes

To talk about eye health, we have to talk about the major parts of your eye first. Typically, your eye has the following:

Cornea: This is the clear, dome-shaped surface covering the eye's front. It helps to focus light entering your eye.

Pupil: A black circular opening in the centre. It adjusts size to control the amount of light that enters the eye.

Iris: The coloured part of your eye that surrounds your pupil. It controls the size of the pupil by contracting or expanding, which helps regulate the amount of light that gets into the eye.

Lens: A transparent structure behind the pupil that changes shape to help focus light onto the retina. It fine-tunes our focus for seeing both near and far objects.

Retina: A thin layer of tissue lining in the back of the eye. It contains light-sensitive cells that convert light into electrical signals.

Optic Nerve: This nerve links your eye to the brain. It transmits electrical signals from the retina to the brain, interpreted as the images we see.

Vitreous Humor: A transparent gel-like substance that fills the middle of your eye. It helps maintain the eye's shape and allows light to pass through to the retina.

Sclera: The white part of the eye. It provides structure and protection for the eye.

What are the common eye conditions?

Refractive Errors: Refractive errors are common vision problems in where the shape of your eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina.

Myopia (Near-sightedness): Happens when your eye is too long or the cornea is too curved. As a result, light focuses in front of your retina, making distant objects appear blurry. Whereas objects can be seen clearly.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness): This is when your eye is too short or your cornea is not curved enough. Light focuses behind the retina, causing nearby objects to be blurry, while distant objects may appear more transparent.

Astigmatism: This is caused by an irregular shape of the cornea or lens. Instead of focusing light evenly onto the retina, light is focused at multiple points, leading to blurred or distorted vision at all distances.

Presbyopia: This age-related condition occurs when the eye lens becomes less flexible. This makes it difficult to focus on closer objects. According to the National Eye Institute, the risk of glaucoma is higher in people over 40.

Cataracts: When your eye lens becomes clouded, causing colour-tinted or blurry vision.

Diabetic retinopathy: When blood vessels in your eye become damaged by diabetes, causing dark spots or blurry areas.

Glaucoma: A build-up of fluid in your eye causing pressure, triggering your optic nerve, creating damage and increasing your risk of blindness.

Age related macular degeneration: When the macular part of your eye gradually becomes damaged affecting your field of vision.

Factors that can cause eye health to deteriorate

It's well known that behaviours like a poor diet and too much UV exposure can cause damage to your eyes, but what about other aspects?

Here are some of the lesser-promoted factors that can contribute to your eyes deteriorating:

Prolonged Screen Time: Spending too much time on computers, smartphones, or tablets can cause digital eye strain, dry eyes, and blurred vision.

UV Exposure: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage the eyes, leading to cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis (a sunburn of the cornea).

Lack of Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can result in eye strain, dry eyes, and twitching. Over time, it can also contribute to more severe eye conditions.

Chronic Health Conditions: Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases can affect eye health, leading to problems like diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy, and uveitis.

Improper Contact Lens Use: Poor hygiene and improper use of contact lenses can lead to infections, corneal ulcers, and other eye problems.

Poor Lighting: Reading or working in poor lighting conditions can strain the eyes, leading to discomfort and potential long-term issues.

How to Maintain Eye Health/Eyesight

Here are some preventive measures you can implement to stop your eyes from deteriorating rapidly:

Intake Vitamins and Minerals
It's important to get your essential vitamins and minerals. If you're deficient in Vitamin A, you could be at serious risk of your eyes deteriorating. Research shows that people who don't consume enough Vitamin A can experience several eye diseases like blindness, dry eyes and more.

Wear sunglasses
Wearing shades when stepping out in the sun can help you improve your eyesight. Sunglasses help protect eyes from conditions that stem from eye damage.

Quit Smoking
Smoking is terrible for your lungs and heart, but it also worsens your eyesight. Smoking raises the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Manage Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions such as blood pressure and sugar can affect your eyesight. These conditions are linked to optic nerve inflation, which can harm your eye and result in vision loss.

Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Nutrients like Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in the retina, but you can also find these nutrients in leafy green vegetables. These nutrients help protect the macula by improving pigment density in this part of the eye.

Taking proactive steps to care for our eyes is essential for maintaining good vision and overall health. Remember, our eyes are invaluable; caring for them should be our top priority.

The bottom line

In summary, your eyes are one organ that you should make your best friend. This relationship requires conscious effort and care to prevent degrading and fading. While there's a range of eye conditions, there are preventative measures you can take to protect your eyes.

Try getting a good night's sleep, reduce screen time, have proper lighting, eat a nutritious diet and protect yourself in the sun!

Looking to optimise your health? Check out our article on energy.