Love your eyes

We only get one pair of eyes and they need to last a lifetime.  Follow these guidelines to make sure your eyes are healthy all your life

  • Eat healthily - like any other part of your body, your eyes age by free radical attack.  These are the result of normal metabolism but you can fight back by eating foods rich in antioxidants which neutralise free radicals.  These can be found in fruit and vegetables.  Lutein and zeaxanthin found in kale is reputedly particularly good for eye health (see 'Superfood and in Season'). Try to eat a variety of different coloured ones for maximum free radical fighting power.  Avoid processed foods, smoked foods and 'charred' foods which may be carcinogenic.  Also avoid sugar (see 'Sugar, not so sweet'), transfats and saturated fat (not monosaturated fat such as coconut) which increase the risk of cholesterol and so may affect blood flow to the eyes.  
  • Exercise - exercise boosts circulation and this includes to your eyes, keeping your eyes supplied with nutrients.  Research has shown that exercise reduces the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, all of which can affect your eyes.  As well as full body exercise below are some eye exercises for you to try.
  1. Sit comfortably and bring your right hand into a 'hitchhiker' gesture. Bring your thumb towards the tip of your nose and focus on it with both eyes.  Slowly move your thumb to arm's length keeping your eyes focused on it. Slowly bring your arm back towards the tip of your nose following it all the time with your eyes.  Repeat with the left hand.  
  2. Sitting with your chin level with the floor, take your right arm to arm's length, your right hand in the 'hitchhiker' gesture.  Slowly move your right thumb up as far as you can to the right, then down as far as you can, then to the left and then back up.  Move the thumb in this circular way several times, all the time following with your gaze only, do not move your head.  Repeat with the left hand thumb. 

  • Protect your eyes by wearing sun glasses when it is bright at any time of year.  
  • Do not smoke.  Smoking increases your risk of age related macular degeneration.
  • Make sure you have regular eye tests.  Eye tests can detect health problems early before symptoms appear.

Article Copyright © 2014 40plusandalliswell

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