Today is World Sight Day. A day to focus the world’s attention on the importance of eye health and of the accessibility to eye health services for all.
We encourage everyone to #LoveYourEyes this October (and beyond).
Check out some of our top tips on how to love your eyes
The 20/20/20 Rule
Did you know that we blink up to ~66% less per minute in front of screens? Blinking helps to smooth our tears over the eyes and over any dry patches, so reduced blinking means the likelihood of increased dry eye and its symptoms.
We can help mitigate this by applying the 20/20/20 rule. (You’ve all heard of 20/20 vision all the time so this will hopefully be easy to remember!). The idea is: every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet (6 metres) away for 20 seconds and blink while doing so. This helps encourage your eyes to relax.
Dry eye can be quite common. It occurs when the oil in the glands of our lids changes composition, leading to the secretion being more solid than liquid.
Lubricating eye drops can help with symptoms only. If you use eye drops more than occasionally then preservative-free lubricating eye drops, like Novatears or Systane Balance, are a good option.
However, to treat the root case of dry eye and keep these glands healthy, we recommend the following treatment:
Omega 3 oils (e.g. fish oil, krill oil, or flaxseed oil) can improve the oily secretions from the meibomian glands
Warm compresses. A wheat bag is best, using a tissue under the wheat bag for hygiene. Warm (test to make sure it not too hot) the wheat bag and place it over closed eyes for 5-10 minutes. Then very gently massage of the lids from the bottom up to the lash line. The heat melts the secretions in the glands and the massage helps to encourage removal of any blockages. You can perform this once daily.
For those of you that like to use Clear Eyes to get clear white eyes, we have it on good advice that you should only use these very sparingly, e.g. for an event, photo shoot etc, as they are not meant for long term use.
We have more sunlight with daylight savings kicking in, so please remember to protect your eyes. Around 10% of all facial skin cancers are on the eyelids, so remember to wear hats and sunglasses when out and about. Larger sunglasses may also help as a mild barrier to wind, which can further dry out the eyes.
Spring has sprung and that can bring allergies! Allergies affecting the eyes include symptoms of itching, redness and watering. There are medicated eyedrops to target ocular allergies if that is an issue. Taking antihistamine tablets can help, although some may potentially cause dry eye. If you have dry eyes look for some tips on the next page or feel free to check in with one of our friendly Optometrist team on what to do.
Another thing we can control is drinking plenty of water. Look at the colour of your urine, if it looks like apple juice then you should drink more. Eye drops can also help. You could try Hylofresh, Hyloforte, Blink or Systane.
Diet plays a major factor in eye health. A good rule is, whatever is good for the heart is good for the eyes e.g. plenty of vegetables and fruits in a range of colours, less processed meats and baked goods. A diet rich in Omega 3 oils is helpful for dry eyes.
If you ever have concerns regarding your eye health, please see your local optometrist for advice.