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People all over the world spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money looking after their health, but those same people often overlook one of the most crucial elements of their daily life; their eyesight.

Looking after your eyes is just as important as any other part of your body or internal health – in fact, you could easily argue that it’s more important, given how the quality of your vision plays a direct role in your overall quality of life. So in this post, we’ll look at a few simple ways to look after your eyes:

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Get regular eye tests

In the UK, optometrists recommend that you have an eye test every two years, with those over 40 recommended to get tested every 12-18 months. Having an eye test will tell you if you need glasses or a change in your current prescription, and importantly, they can spot many early signs of eye problems or even general health problems before you’re aware of any symptoms. This early diagnosis can often mean a much higher probability of successful treatment (and can in some cases save lives).

• Give up smoking

We’re all familiar with the dangers of smoking, but few people know that there’s a strong link between AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and smoking, as well an associated risk of developing cataracts. This infographic from Shade Station covers the research confirming the link between tobacco use and vision loss.

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• Eat healthily

A healthy, balanced diet containing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will benefit your overall health, and contribute to healthy eyes. Proper nutrition is crucial to keeping your retina healthy and can also help to prevent early onset of a number of eye-related conditions.

• Protect your eyes from the sun

When you’re on holiday, or during the summer months, you need to ensure you take suitable precautions to protect your eyes from the sun. Never look at the sun directly, as this can cause lasting and severe damage to your eyesight (in some cases even causing blindness). When you’re out in the sun, you should wear good quality dark sunglasses, ideally with 100% UV protection and polarized lenses.

• Limit your alcohol consumption

Research has demonstrated a clear link between heavy alcohol consumption and an increased risk of early AMD. The recommended limits in the UK are 3-4 units per day for men, and 2-3 units per day for women.

Hopefully these simple and easy-to-follow tips will give you a head start when it comes to looking after your eyes, particularly as we move towards the summer months.

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