Keep a close eye on op­tic health

Lesotho Times - - Health -

AC­CORD­ING to Shake­speare, the eyes are the win­dows to the soul. But they are also the sense that 90 per­cent of us fear los­ing the most.

Ad­vice like eat­ing well, ex­er­cis­ing and watch­ing your weight ap­plies as much to your eyes as your gen­eral health, but here some more an­swers to the eye health

QUEST: QU: Quit smok­ing. Re­search by the Royal Na­tional In­sti­tute of Blind Peo­ple in­di­cates that smok­ing dou­bles your risk of de­vel­op­ing agere­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, the UK’S most com­mon cause of blind­ness. E: Eat well.

Fresh fruit and veg- eta­bles, oily fish, eggs and whole grains con­tain anti-ox­i­dants which boost your eye health. S: Our eyes are sen­si­tive. Pro­longed ex­po­sure to sun can lead to a va­ri­ety of ail­ments. Some are sim­ply painful or ir­ri­tat­ing, oth­ers can be deadly se­ri­ous. But remembering to wear a pair of high qual­ity sun­glasses can help to keep you safe from the sun’s dam­ag­ing rays. Sun­glasses pro­tect the eyes from painful sun­burns and may help slow down cataracts and mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion. T: Have an eye Test. Op­ti­cians rec­om­mend a test ev­ery two years even if you don’t wear glasses.

If you are go­ing to do one thing for Na­tional Eye Health Week, have an eye test, es­pe­cially if you haven’t had one for a while. Eye tests thor­oughly ex­am­ine the whole eye, in­clud­ing the back, and can also help de­tect more gen­eral health con­di­tions.

If you’re un­der 16, over 60 or on cer­tain ben­e­fits, you qual­ify for a free test. See the NHS web­site at www.nhs.uk for in­for­ma­tion. Many op­ti­cians also run pro­mo­tions of­fer­ing re­duced-price eye tests.

When you’ve booked your test, feast your eyes on some de­li­cious fresh food to boost their health.

Dark, leafy green veg­eta­bles like spinach and kale con­tain the an­tiox­i­dants lutein and zeax­an­thin, which help to pre­vent dam­age to the retina. Re­search sug­gests they may help pre­vent age-re­lated mac­u­lar de-

gen­er­a­tion and cataracts.

Pa­paya is a good source of beta carotene, which may help to pre­vent dam­age in­side the eye, and blue­ber­ries and grapes con­tain an­tho­cyanins which may help to im­prove night vi­sion.

Also rec­om­mended are brightly coloured fruit and veg­eta­bles such as corn, car­rots, or­ange sweet pep­pers and or­anges, and oily fish like salmon, tuna and mack­erel.

Gar­lic, onions, shal­lots, capers and eggs con­tain sul­phur, which the body needs to main­tain healthy eye­sight.

Whole grains and av­o­cado, rich in zinc and vi­ta­min B, are also good. — Der­bytele­graph

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