Top Tips for Healthy Eyes in 2022

Give your eyes the TLC they deserve this year

By Holly Carver

Eyes

After the past two years, many of us are excited at the prospect of a fresh start in 2022!

To date, the most popular New Year’s Resolutions for Brits have been focused on health, with 47% of people vowing to do more exercise, and 44% vowing to lose weight.

According to consultant oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon, Miss Elizabeth Hawkes, the real resolution we should be focusing on this year is to do with our eyes…

Dr Elizabeth Hawkes
Miss Elizabeth Hawkes

What should a healthy eye look like?

Miss Hawkes explains, “A healthy eye has a clear cornea (front window of the eye) and white non-inflamed coat (conjunctiva overlying sclera). The view through the cornea reveals a round pupil which should be equal in size in both eyes. The eyelids and lashes surround the eye to protect it.”

To make sure your eyes stay this way, here are the top resolutions, according to Miss Hawkes, that we should ALL be making to keep our eyes healthy in 2022!

1. Buy UV-protective sunglasses

Just like you protect your skin from UV rays, you need to protect your eyes too! Make sure you buy UV-protective sunglasses from a reputable seller and not a market stall or unknown online seller. Buy lenses that cover the eyes and surrounding areas and don’t slip down. This helps to protect not only the eye itself but also the delicate skin around it.

Whilst wrinkles around the eyes are an inevitable part of ageing, they can also be an indication of too much sun exposure, squinting, or smoking.

Wrinkles around the eyes can be treated topically with retinol. Used correctly, retinol can rebuild collagen, contributing to vascular support in the area and the recovery of skin volume and firmness. For dark circles that are caused by increased pigment, topical lightening agents such as vitamin C can help decrease skin pigmentation over time, ultimately resulting in the lightening of the dark circles.

2. Visit your optician regularly and get your eyes tested every two years

How many of you who don’t wear glasses haven’t had your eyes tested in years? Quite a lot of you? Even if you don’t need your vision testing, opticians can see a lot through your eyes. Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, eye cancer and brain tumours can all be detected.

3. Eat the right foods

Ensuring that your diet is rich in foods containing essential omega-3 fatty acids is crucial. These are important to the health of the macula, the part of the eye that is responsible for central vision. So, making sure you eat enough fatty fish, especially salmon, will help to keep your eyes healthy and your vision good.

Research suggests that a high-fat diet of processed foods may increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (vision loss).

4. Reduce your fat intake

Saturated fats may create free-radical reactions that can harm the macula.

High-fat diets can cause deposits that constrict blood flow to the arteries. The eyes are especially sensitive to this, given the small size of the blood vessels that feed them.

By reducing your intake of saturated fats you’re helping to ensure that the arteries can flow freely and the eyes function fully.

5. Drink less caffeine and get more sleep

Blepharospasms are commonly known as twitching eyes and are very ordinary. Usually, your upper lid blinks quickly over a prolonged period and you can’t stop it. Sometimes it can affect both eyes and can vary in frequency of twitch. It’s rarely a sign of anything serious and is usually caused by stress, tiredness, caffeine, and alcohol.

To ease eye twitching, it’s advisable to drink less caffeine and try and get more sleep. They often go away on their own but if they continue for more than two weeks, it’s advisable to see your GP.

Very rarely, it can be an indication of a more serious condition such as blepharitis (inflamed eyelids), dry eyes, light sensitivity, pinkeye, or a brain or nerve disorder. It can also be a side effect of some medications, most commonly that treat epilepsy and psychosis.

6. Wash your hands regularly

The importance of washing your hands regularly is imperative to our health in general as well as our eyes.

Keeping your hands clean is particularly important if you wear contact lenses. Before you touch your eyes for anything, always wash your hands with a mild soap and dry with a lint-free towel. Some germs from your hands can cause eye infections such as conjunctivitis, as well as spreading colds and more sinister viruses.

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