An independent optometrist has shared five resolutions we can all make to keep our eyes healthy in 2017.
Alex Gage, who owns two Sheffield optometry practices, has drawn out the guidelines to remind people how important it is to pay attention to the condition of their eyes as the new year heralds a focus on healthcare.
Having practised in the city for over 20 years, Alex leads a team of experienced optometric and dispensing staff.
He says that eye care is crucial to the overall health of our bodies but many tend to neglect it.
“The new year provides us all with an excellent opportunity to really examine the state of our bodies, and reflect on how we can look after them better.
“People tend to focus on their fitness and health which is absolutely necessary but we’re also strongly encouraging people to keep their eyes healthy with these resolutions.”
The first piece of advice from the eye care specialist is to book an eye examination. “Typically, optometrists recommend you get your eyes examined every two years but this is different for people over the age of 40 and ethnic minorities.
“An eye examination can detect other conditions such as stroke and diabetes early as well as any vision problems.”
He added that eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and foods containing essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E will help to ward off age-related vision problems. In line with this, a balanced diet will help maintain a healthy weight to avoid problems linked to being overweight which can affect your sight.
“We are increasingly spending more time on gadgets and staring at computer screens for long periods of time without taking a break.
“This can put a strain on the eyes or cause dry eyes so it’s essential to be conscious of this and stick to the 20-20-20 rule: spend 20 seconds every 20 minutes looking at something at least 20 feet away.
“There is also a growing body of evidence that outside play in daylight not only takes children away from their computer screens, but vitamin D that is produced by the skin with the aid of sunlight has been shown to reduce the risk of myopia (short sight)”
Finally, he added that smokers are more susceptible to experiencing eye issues and compared to non-smokers, are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.