As winter starts to fade and spring starts to come to life, there are many things that can cause your eyes to become irritated, sore and tired. Spring is a great time to ‘spring clean’ your eye health to make sure you have a great year ahead with the best possible eyes. Here are a few simple tips to kick start your own eye health spring clean.
The season of spring is not only a sign that the days are getting longer and brighter but also that flowers, plants, trees and grasses begin to come alive again after the cold winter. This may look nice but if you suffer from allergies, such as hay fever, this can play real havoc with your eyes. If you use antihistamines, try to start these early in the year so when hay fever season starts you will already be protected. Also, where possible, try to avoid going outside on high pollen days, but if you have to, as soon as you get back home have a shower/bath and put on fresh clothes to avoid the pollen returning to your eyes from your body and clothes. There are many aids to help your eyes during the hay fever months, getting an appointment with your ophthalmologist to discuss your options is always recommended.
Sunglasses should be worn all year round but many people forgot to wear them during the winter months and wait until the bright summers days to start wearing them again. Make an effort to start wearing your sunglasses earlier this year. During the spring months of March, April and May the days start to get brighter and longer but even when we get those grey days you should try to wear sunglasses when outdoors, it’s a great habit to get into. Long term sun overexposure can play a part in causing some eye problems, such as cataracts, so protecting them earlier will always be best.
3. Diet & Exercise
After the long winter months of possibly less exercise and a poor diet, spring is a perfect way to kick start healthy living again. A healthy diet and exercise is not only great for your general health but is very important to eye health. Foods high in beta-carotene, omega 3, vitamin c and e, and lutein are vital to healthy eyes. Examples of these foods are carrots, pumpkin, oily fish, berries, citrus fruit, almonds, avocados, kale, spinach, and eggs.
4. Rest & Relaxation
Resting and relaxing your eyes is very important in keeping them healthy. If you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen for example, you could strain your eyes. A great tip is following the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes’ look about 20 feet away for 20 seconds, this can really help prevent your eyes getting tired and strained from over working them. Getting good sleep is another way your eyes need to rest, about 7-8 hours for an average adult is recommended. Placing something warm over closed eye lids, such as a heated eye mask, can really aid in resting and relaxing your tired eyes in the evening, this is also great if you suffer from dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
5. Eye Test
The average adult should have an eye test every 2 years and this may be more frequent if you suffer with health or eye problems. Spring is a perfect time to check if you are due for an eye test. If you are looking for a more thorough examination you can get an appointment with an ophthalmologist, their appointments tend to be more detailed and it may include having detailed eye scans (topography) carried out to enable the ophthalmologist to check all parts of your eyes more thoroughly.