1. Keep your eyelids and eyelashes clean. If you’ve gone through some of our pages, you’ll have noticed we’ve been harping on about warm compresses. Well, this is how you play it: grab a flannel or some cotton wool balls and dip it in some hot water (but not too hot!). Gently press the flannel or cotton wool balls against closed eyelids, with a light massage. After a minute or two, repeat dipping the flannel or cotton wool balls in the warm water and compress on eyelids. Perform this, on both eyes together to save time, for 10 minutes. The timing is important, as anything less than 10 minutes just doesn’t give the best results. A few drops of baby shampoo in the warm water helps too!
2. Look after your diet, and you’ll be looking after your eyes. Oily fish, dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, mushrooms, and fruit (five a day) are all recommended. Nutritional eye supplements may also be taken.
4. Take regular breaks off screens. Staring at a screen for hours on end is pretty exhausting on the eyes. We love the 20/20/20 rule promoted by the Association of Optometrists: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. We’d even suggest having a timer on your electronic device because we all get carried away with what we’re doing and forget to take a break.
6. Use sun protection for your eyes. We’re talking sunglasses and hats. Ensure sunglasses are UV-protective. Most of us start looking after our health as we get older, but UV light from the sun causes most harm to kids, so it’s all the more important they are protected too.
7. Use protective eyewear when needed. Whether it’s occupational or recreational, be mindful of any dangers. So if you’re welding or cycling, painting or swimming, be equipped with the right eyewear. You can also get protective eyewear with glasses prescriptions – ask your eye care practitioner.
8. Be aware of your family history. Many eye conditions run in families, from needing glasses to more serious diseases, such as glaucoma. This information will help your eye care practitioner decide how to best look after your eye health.
9. Have regular sight tests. It’s about the health of your eyes, not just about glasses! We can identify silent eye problems at an early stage, and can also help detect underlying general health conditions, e.g. diabetes. Your eye care practitioner can advise how frequently you need a sight test, but everybody should have at least one every two years.
10. If in doubt, have it checked out. If in doubt, have it checked out! This is so important, we’ve written it twice! No matter when you had your last sight test (even if it was yesterday), if something has changed since, e.g. you’re experiencing new floaters or have reduced vision in one eye all of a sudden, get it checked by your eye care practitioner immediately.
Now, read some jokes and have a chuckle!