WE all know that there are parts of our body which can ‘age’ quicker if we don’t take care of them properly – such as our skin, joints and even organs like our heart.

But what many people may not realise that there are some everyday things we all might be doing which could be causing damage to our sight, making it appear as our eyes are ageing more quickly too.

Specsavers Ópticas is highlighting the importance of regular eye tests and is sharing advice on how we can help to keep them healthy and avoid inflicting damage.

Sunglasses aren’t just for summer

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers clinical services director, says: ‘UV rays can damage our vision as well as our skin – even in winter. Prolonged UV exposure has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, and even some types of eye cancer. Especially in sunny Spain, sunglasses are not just fashion accessories – It’s particularly important that you wear a good pair that offer high levels of UV protection throughout the year.

‘Sunglasses don’t need to be expensive, but they should always conform to agreed safety standards. Look out for a CE (European Community Standard) or UV400 markings and aim for a pair that offer 80 percent light reduction.’

Poor diet

‘A well-balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables is important for keeping our eyes healthy,’ says Mr Edmonds. ‘If your diet is full of highly processed food lacking in nutritional value then you may not be getting enough nutrients to support optimum eye health. In fact, a diet high in fat and junk food could also increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD)[1].’

Poor cardiovascular health

Mr Edmonds says: ‘Studies show that good cardiovascular health could be associated with a lower risk of eye disease[2] so it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reap the benefits it brings to our heart and eyes.

‘If there are problems with our blood vessels in the eyes not only can it cause sudden vision changes such as blurriness, dark patches of vision but it could also be linked to stroke. Evidence also suggest that subtle, early damage to these tiny blood vessels in the eyes could be linked to cardiovascular disease[3].’

Avoiding eye appointments

‘A huge factor in eye deterioration is not keeping up with regular eye tests,’ says Mr Edmonds. ‘Eye tests are so important for not only detecting any changes in vision but also picking up signs of eye conditions such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataract and diabetic retinopathy that you may not immediately be aware of.

‘What many people do not know is that an eye test can also detect any indications of wider health concerns too so it is so important to stay on top of these checks to help keep you healthy for many more years to come.’

For more information, to find your nearest store or to book an appointment visit www.specsavers.es

[1] https://www.macular.org/junk-food

[2] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200820112842.htm

[3] https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/in-your-eyes-clues-to-heart-disease-risk