See the Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

Animated photo of different healthy lifestyle choices like a yellow bike, a blue bottle of water and a basketball in a collage format

1. You Are What You Eat

The term “you are what you eat” first appeared in the 1800s, with scientists believing that the food we eat has an impact on our health and wellbeing. Since this time, it has worked its way into our everyday language, cookbooks, and tv shows. We now know food does have a clear impact on our health, and when it comes to the health of our eyes, we can take this phrase quite literally.

The health of our macula (part of the eye responsible for our central vision) depends on essential antioxidants Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which create a protective layer known as the macular pigment. Macular pigment functions like internal sunglasses, protecting the macula from the damaging effects of blue light and oxidative stress. These key ingredients cannot be made in our bodies, meaning we need to find these in our diet.

The best foods to increase your intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin are:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers

To learn more about diet, lifestyle, and supplements for the eyes head to our ‘Eating for Eye Health’ page.

2. Slip on Your Sunglasses

Ultraviolet (UV) light increases your risk of developing sight-threatening conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Shop smart when looking for your next pair, look out for glasses carrying the “CE” Mark and British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013, which ensures that the sunglasses offer a safe level of UV protection. Remember, we still need UV protection in overcast weather and in the winter sun.

3. Time to Quit?

Along with the many other medical problems smoking is linked to, there are many eye conditions that are linked to the habit. Smoking has been shown to increase the likelihood of cataracts, increase damage to your optic nerve and dramatically increase your risk of macular degeneration. There are free local stop smoking services in the UK1 that can increase your likelihood of quitting.

 4. Actively Care for Your Eyes

Being physically active can reduce the risk of visual impairment by 58%2 compared to those who are less active. Maintaining a healthy weight through both diet and exercise will help keep blood pressure under control, with high blood pressure being linked to conditions that can affect your vision. 

5. Be Eye Aware

Be aware of your vision in each eye separately. Many conditions appear in one eye first. If you notice any changes in your vision, eye comfort, or have concerns about eye health – speak to your optometrist. You can check your symptoms here.