World Sight Day: Five surprising things that can affect our eyes

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This World Sight Day, Specsavers across South Devon are sharing five surprising things that can have an effect on our eyes. While people often put their health and wellbeing at the top of their agenda, research shows we’re not taking enough care of our eyes with a quarter not having an eye check every two years . However, what many may not realise that the food we eat, the things we do with our day and even our makeup can all make an impact on our eyes.

While many of us may want to hold our tears back when we’re feeling down or frustrated, don’t. Torquay store director Simon Simmonds, explains: ‘When we don’t have enough tears to lubricate our eyes they can become dry and irritated and we can even start to get slightly blurred vision. Tears are so important as they can wash away foreign matter that might come into contact with your eye and they also help reduce the risk of eye infections.’

Eating fish
Eating plenty of fish which is high in omega 3 fatty acids can help with eye lubrication. Simon says: ‘When an individual has a dry eye the surface of the eye becomes inflamed. This inflammation further damages the cells which are responsible for tear production, resulting in a vicious circle of increasing inflammation and dryness.
‘It is well documented that omega 3 essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and therefore may offer some degree of protection against dry eye.’

If you ever feel your eyelids twitching from time to time, you might be experiencing myokymia. Myokimia causes spasms which are often uncomfortable and distracting, and can be caused by lack of sleep. Simon says: ‘It’s essential that we all get enough sleep as it gives our bodies an opportunity to rest – including our eye muscles, which will help to stop them from twitching.’

There is another reason to smother the wondrous superfood on our toast. Simon says: ‘Not only are avocados rich in zinc and vitamin B which help stave off cataracts, but they also have a high amount of lutein. Research suggests lutein is a carotenoid which helps filter out blue light, helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration.’

We all know that not taking off our make-up is bad for our skin, but it can also harmful to our eyes. Simon says: ‘Leaving your eye makeup on when you go to sleep will increase your chances of getting bacterial and oil build up around your eyes or even inflammation. Make sure you always gently remove beauty products to reduce infection and keep your eyes clean.’

While Specsavers across South Devon are is encouraging local residents to take care of their eyes, it is also trying to help those around the world by supporting Vision Aid Overseas and encouraging customers to donate their old frames for a good cause.

Your eyes can reveal a lot about your health so it’s really important to have regular eye tests – once every two years, or more often if recommended by your optometrist.

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