Want to support eye health? - Look no further.
The human eye is an incredibly important organ that allows you to see daily. It enables you to experience your surroundings and bring objects into focus to send visual information to your brain via your optic nerve.
It is estimated over 13 million Australians have one or more chronic long term eye conditions . Various factors have been known to impact your eye health including UV exposure, screen time, smoking, poor dietary choices and harmful chemicals.
As you age, usually from 45 years on, its normal to notice changes to your eyesight with poor eyesight becoming a key concern for many especially the ability to see up close and adjusting to different levels of lighting.
What are the common symptoms of poor eye health?
Common symptoms of a decline in eye health include:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty focusing on distant objects
- Sore, red, watery & dry eyes
- Twitching of the eyes
If you are experiencing headaches and blurred vision, it’s important to consult your health professional.
What causes the decline in eye health?
There are various causes contributing to the decline in eye health including. Today, technology is one of the largest contributors as digital eyestrain often leads to dry eyes and places extra burden on the muscles that help your eyes to focus. When looking at a screen close to your face, your eyes blink less frequently and fatigue of the eye begins to appear.
As you get older, it is common for your macular health to naturally decline as the muscles of the eye become weaker. The eyes become less responsive to light and adjusting to these conditions becomes more difficult as you age.
Ultraviolet (UV) exposure is also known to impact your eye health as it contributes to the ageing of all structures of the eye. UV radiation whether from natural sunlight or artificial rays can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens.
Smoking, exposure to chemicals and consuming a diet high in saturated fats are all contributors to poor eye health. Additionally, a diet low in antioxidants may also be responsible as antioxidants help to protect your cells against damage from free radicals (molecules produced when your body breaks down food or when you’re exposed to toxins).
Diet and lifestyle tips for supporting eye health
As you age, it becomes more important to support healthy eye function. Eyes are susceptible to the damage caused by free radicals so focusing on improving your antioxidant status is vital in supporting overall eye health.
- Increase your Vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges, lemon, capsicum, strawberries etc and helps to protect the eye against UV light damage as well as supporting the formation of collagen, an important protein providing structure to your eyes.
- Focus on omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, flaxseeds etc. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA is an essential building blocks for light receptors.
- Increase your intake of vitamins A, C and E as these all help to fight free radicals in the body
- Increase the carotenoids beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin found in carrots and green leafy vegetables to further contribute to your antioxidant intake (smokers note; avoid high doses of beta-carotene).
- Take regular breaks every 20 minutes from your computer screen to avoid eye strain and aim to maintain regular blinking
- Wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat when exposed to UV light
- Quit smoking
- Make sure you have your eyes tested every year by an optometrist and ensure your glasses prescription is up to date
Thompson’s herbal favourite for eye health
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) often mistaken for blueberries, contain high amounts of antioxidants known as anthocyanosides. Anthocyanosides are responsible for the fruits blue-black colour as well as its ability to support healthy eye function. Bilberry also supports blood capillary health and reduces free radicals in the body and the damage these can have to your cells.
Looking to your eyes? Explore Thompson’s Eye Health Range mastered with herbs to support healthy eyes.