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    Holistic Health: Tackling Our Most Dreaded Eye Problems

    Are our most common eye diseases treatable AND avoidable?

    The eyes are our windows to the soul – and the world. Our eye health is the most important pillar of our wellbeing.  

    We’re serious about experiencing life in its most vibrant capacity, therefore mindful of the many problems our eyes can develop in our early and later years.

    Though mindful, we often overlook the importance of proper eye care itself. This is partly because many of our most debilitating eye diseases develop slowly and show no symptoms at all until the damage is already done.

    Holistic Health: Tackling Our Most Dreaded Eye Problems

    As the old mountaineer saying goes…

    “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Why not fix it before it’s ‘broke’?

    This month we’re discovering how we can avoid the need for dozens of expensive eye tests and treatments in the future and effortlessly prevent some of our most debilitating eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts and conjunctivitis alike.

    Everyday prevention comes naturally

    We’re incredibly fortunate to have medical treatments for existing eye problems at our fingertips. However, we’ve found that preventing the development of these conditions in the first place is simple and attainable by all of us.

    Taking a holistic approach to health means understanding the effects that our everyday habits have on our eye health. The eyes are one of the most intricate organs we have and are their healthiest with balanced lifestyle habits including proper nutrition, hygiene and stress management. 

    Proper nutrition = better vision

    An abundance of research has shown us that a well-balanced diet is one of the main factors in long term eye health. 

    Eating an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables gives our body the antioxidants it needs to fight infection, whilst various proteins and fibrous carbohydrates strengthen us with Omega fatty-acids and amino acids alike. 

    The eyes thrive on nutrient-dense foods which hold high amounts of various vitamins and minerals. The old war-time tale of soldiers scoffing down carrots to see better in the dark has firm footing in science. The beta-carotene in carrots converts into Vitamin A in our bodies which keeps our eyes healthy and our immune system in check. This shows us the awesome power of fresh veggies in eye health.

    Inflammation in the eye can be highly damaging, whatever the cause. Dark, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach help to fight infection in the body and are strong antioxidant foods which prevent inflammation from progressing.

    A balanced diet help us avoid crippling conditions such as diabetes. Diabetic individuals are at higher risk of developing eye problems like glaucoma. This condition affects all ages and often does not show symptoms until complete blindness occurs in the eye. This is yet another reason to eat healthy for better eye health.

    Just like with most things in life, moderation is key. Discover more with All About Vision http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/

    Hygiene is king

    Washing the face nightly reduces the risk of harmful bacteria remaining in the eyes, whilst washing our hands cuts the chances of bacteria reaching our eyes in the first place via our fingers. 

    Ladies – let’s keep our makeup utensils to ourselves to avoid sharing bacteria. Sharing makeup brushes can transfer bacteria from person to person and cause infections. 

    Excessive use of contact lenses can cause similar build-ups of bacteria. Not replacing damaged lenses can cause deterioration of the cornea – the outer translucent layer of the eye. Any external object placed on the eye carries risks, so let’s be sure to follow our prescriptions to keep our eyes free of superficial damage.

    If you buy contact lenses online, be sure to read through this informative guide to contact lenses to ensure your hygiene is keeping your eyes healthy.

    Your eyes need a break too

    Each day we spend quite some time in front of our screens. Whether it’s our television, laptop or mobile phone, the digital age puts a higher strain on our eyes now more than ever. 

    Good news! We don’t have to completely cut out our movie nights and laptop use. We can however, be mindful of how long we spend in front of our beloved devices, as excessive screen-time strains our eyes and can weaken our clarity of vision. Read more about ‘computer vision syndrome’ here.

    An easy solution? Let’s follow the 20-20 rule. This means that for every 20 minutes spent staring at screens, we spend the next 20 minutes looking at something else. Not another screen, of course…  

    Outside, our eyes are greatly protected from the sun’s glare with good quality polarized sunglasses. The less the muscles around our eyes strain, the more comfortable our vision will be.

    The most important part? Taking action.

    Monitoring our eyes for common infections and treating them as they arise save us from further problems down the line. 

    Conjunctivitis; a common eye infection which affects all ages in the UK is easily treatable with the advice of your doctor. However, such a common condition can cause severe internal infections if untreated, creating future complications. 

    The moment we notice irregularities in our eye health is the moment we should take action and see a GP. Though often preventable, many eye problems such as cataracts only show symptoms when they are already developed to a substantial degree. 

    Being aware of our family history can be the key to early detection of eye problems, as many conditions such as glaucoma can affect generations in the same family. 

    This is how taking early action helps us to further prevent the potential damage which our existing eye problems can cause.

    Our everyday lifestyle choices, our action towards symptoms and the knowledge of our genetic pre-dispositions are the most powerful tools we have in protecting our most valuable assets – our eyes.

    Let’s choose to take control so we can keep experiencing our visual world to its full extent.

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