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words by Rebecca Fairbrother 

It’s all well and good spending a small fortune on gym memberships, anti-aging creams and the like but without our eyesight all of these luxuries (and arguably necessities) would pale into a dark vortex of insignificance (literally!)

It is sometimes easy to forget and take for granted our eyesight as it is something we use everyday. However it should not be overlooked that our eyes are wonderful things and deserve the utmost respect and care. They take us through almost every second of our waking hours and are a hugely complex, wondrous and enchanting feat of natural engineering. Follow these quick and easy tips to ensure optimum eye health:

Exercise
If maintaining weight, improving cardiovascular function and circulation, as well as boosting levels of happy hormones like Serotonin are not good enough incentives to motivate you to partake in regular exercise, then throw eye health into the mix and that should definitely be enough to get you to that yoga class. Taking regular exercise is one of the sure-fire ways to maintain long-term health. The health benefits of exercise really are endless. Exercise is paramount to maintaining optimum eye health. As our eyes require good blood circulation and oxygen intake in order to function properly, give your eyes a boost with regular exercise which stimulates both of these things.

Quit Smoking
Ditch the cancer sticks! In all honesty, smoking has no redeeming features. Not only does it increase your risk of certain cancers, notably lung cancer, it also prematurely ages us and fills our bodies with lots of nasty toxins such tar and carbon monoxide. Smoking as a young adult can vastly enhance your risks of developing a cataract.

Diet
Research has shown that people whose diets are depleted of antioxidants are considerably more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than those who regularly eat foods with high antioxidant levels. A diet rich in leafy green vegetables, oily fish, eggs , nuts, beans, pulses and fruit (in particular citrus fruits) will definitely stand you in good stead for protecting your vision. Not only will a well-balanced diet help you to maintain a healthy weight, this is turn will lower your risk of developing type 2 Diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.  A whopping 45% of people with diabetes go on to develop diabetic retinopathy which is seriously detrimental to our sight, whilst having diabetes puts you in significant danger for glaucoma and cataracts – all fatal diseases which affect eyesight.

Eye Test
It has been approximated that around 5 million Britons have not had an eye test in the last decade. We should all treat our eye health as we would any other part of our body. We go for annual trips to the dentist, visit osteopaths and chiropractors for back pain but regularly our eyes go unnoticed. All it takes is one eye examination every two years to keep on top of any underlying issues which might arise. A regular visit to your opticians is the best way to detect if you have a serious eye problem. Most serious eye problems like open angle glaucoma for example have no obvious symptoms.

Sunglasses
The Sun can wreak havoc on our vision. Protect your eyes in sunny conditions or when you are in high-glare areas which include being in close proximity to snow or water. Invest in a pair of sunglasses to ensure your health are properly protected from the sun’s damaging UVA or UVB rays.

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