Matthew Conway is the director of Dipple & Conway Opticians in Norfolk. An independent, family-run business with practises in Norwich, Diss and Swaffham, Matthew’s clinical team take care of the eyesight of hundreds of people throughout the region. Here, they share their professional advice for how to take care of our eyes during the crisp, colder months.
In the winter months, eating well is so important to keep the bugs at bay. As well as combatting the common cold, did you know that what we dish up for dinner also makes a big difference to the health of our eyes? The right diet is proven to prevent degenerative eye diseases and helps to maintain our precious eyesight.
Eat well, keep active: Diet and lifestyle are crucial to maintaining healthy eyes. It’s true. Carrots are
great for your eyesight, but better still are leafy green veg, fruit, foods rich in omega-3 and wholegrains. Fresh fish, cod, tuna, and sardines are amazingly beneficial for our eyeballs. Oily fish helps our bodies to absorb fatty acids that provide structural support for cell membranes and can also help alleviate dry eyes, a condition which can be aggravated in the colder months.
Combining a healthy, balanced, varied diet with regular exercise means you will reduce your risk of visual impairment by 58%. Exercise relieves stress, increases our blood flow and oxygen supply, that all contribute to healthy eyes too.
Step away from the screen: Lots of us are spending more time staring at screens. Working from home can lead to long, uninterrupted periods of looking at blue light. And once we log off, we switch from one screen to another as we relax by watching our latest favourite TV show or catch up on social media.
Our eyes can only take so much. And regular screen breaks or taking entire days off from staring at screens are so essential. You and your eyes will feel so much better for it. When working with a screen, set a timer for the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something else, 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.
Over exposure to screens can cause serious, long-term damage. Not just stinging eyes, blurry vision, and headaches, but looking at blue light continuously has been linked to age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, eye cancers and growths on the clear covering over the white part of the eye. Step away from your screens and enjoy being outside in daylight hours. Which leads us on to …
Sunglasses on sunny days: While the days might be shorter, the sun can be intense and bright in autumn and winter, so keep your sunglasses within easy reach.
Our eyes need an extra layer of protection from harmful, strong UV and UVB rays all year around, especially in the autumn winter months when the sun’s glare can be intense. If we experience another heavy snowfall this winter, or if you’re lucky enough to be booking a ski trip, do be aware of snow blindness – damage to the cornea that can be very painful, and is caused when the sun is reflected off bright white snow.
Overexposure to the sun can also lead to cataracts and eye cancers, so just as thick coats, hats and scarves are all part of your cosy winter wardrobe, a pair of high-quality stylish sunglasses are a must-have accessory too.
See an optician: And finally, we cannot stress enough the importance of a regular eye test, conducted by optical professionals using the latest technology. We are medical experts who not only look out for your eyes, but your overall health and wellbeing too. We would love to see you.
- Find out more at dippleconway.co.uk and follow Dipple & Conway on facebook Dipple & Conway Opticians and instagram @dippleandconway