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The week, which has been established to communicate the importance of good eye health under the banner, ‘Vision Matters’, encourages people from every walk of life to take better care of their eyes and have regular sight tests. Regular sight tests are essential for maintaining healthy eyes but there are other things you can do to look after your eyes.

Diet

Studies show that what we eat can affect our vision. Antioxidants can help to prevent retinal damage. One anti-oxidant which is hugely beneficial is lutein.

Foods recommended for eye health include:

  • Broad leaf greens such as kale and spinach
  • Brightly coloured fruit and veg such as corn, carrots, orange sweet peppers and oranges
  • Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs

 Find out more about nutrition and eyesight

Exercise and eyesight

Lack of exercise contributes significantly to several eye conditions, particularly amongst people aged 60 and over. Exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Find out more about exercise and eyesight (Royal College of Ophthalmologists PDF)

Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health conditions which can have a detrimental effect on your eye health.

Find out more about alcohol and the eye (Royal College of Ophthalmologists PDF)

Smoking

After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration.

Smoking also increases your risk of developing cataract

Find out more about smoking and your eyes (NHS Choices)

The sun

Protecting your eyes from the sun is very important and should not be underestimated. Under no circumstances should you ever look at the sun directly. Your sunglasses should have the CE mark on them which ensures that they are giving you the right level of ultraviolet protection

Find out more about sun and the eyes (NHS Choices)