How to keep your eyes healthy and protect your vision

Ophthalmology Consultant Colin Vize shares his top tips for healthy eyes as part of National Eye Health Week

  • Make sure you go for an eye test every two years. This applies to children as well as adults and, if you’re over 40, you might need to go more often
  • Know your history. Ask family members about their eye health as some conditions are hereditary. Problems experienced by older relatives may mean you’re at higher risk of developing problems so your optician needs to know
  • Watch your diet. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially green leafy veg like spinach, kale and spring greens, is good for eye health. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fresh tuna and salmon are also ideal for healthy eyes
  • Stick to a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of diabetes which can lead to vision loss through diabetic eye disease or glaucoma
  • Wear protective safety glasses, goggles, safety shields and eye guards when playing sports or doing DIY and tasks around the house
  • Stop smoking. It’s linked to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage, all of which can cause blindness
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. Ensure they block out both UVA and UVB rays
  • If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, adopt the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain
  • If you wear contact lenses, always wash your hands thoroughly before taking them out or putting them in. Make sure you follow your optician’s advice on insertion and removal.