Bedtime reading in my home is a magical time filled with unicorns, David Walliams, and that socialite but slightly narcissistic kitty wearing a pink bow at a jaunty angle. To my surprise my 6 year old princess veers from her usual selection with a return to the classics and I finally get to reprise my role as the big bad wolf! He’s my favourite character with his big, bold eyes. It’s a pity he didn’t see the woodcutter coming. He should’ve gone to Specsavers!
I like eyes. Who doesn’t? Beautiful and expressive. You tell me nothing but your eyes show me everything. Keeping them bright, beautiful and soulful should be a top priority in our self-care regimes.
My recent work at the world renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital working with, arguably the best of the best eye specialists in the world, I had the very rare and privileged opportunity to sit in on an incredibly complex operation involving lasers, corneal and lens implants, and accelerated healing of the eyes post surgery. All while the patient was still conscious! I had a billion questions about the procedure and particularly about the accelerated healing and how to prevent eye problems happening at all. I’m learning from the best in the world and simply could not not share this bounty of information with you. So lets dispel the fact from fiction.
Does eating carrots make your vision better? That’s what my mum says and as lovely as she is, she is no eye surgeon. Carrots contain lutein which becomes concentrated in parts of the retina enabling colour definition and image clarity. There is no real evidence to suggest that an increased intake of lutein will prevent any disease in the eye, however, it has shown that increased levels of lutein slows down age related macular degeneration and some research showing a lower incidence of cataract formation. Much of the research is speculative but there is no real harm from increased lutein intake apart from a natural bronzing of the skin. There is no real need to go over 10mg a day without advice from your doctor or specialist. Did you know that raw kale has over 150 times more lutein than a raw carrot? Does that help with your lunch choices? A good supplement I would recommend is the eye nutrients range.
In itself watching TV isn’t going to cause you to become short sighted. In the 1960’s a controversial study on a group of Eskimos showed that those aged over 56 who hadn’t been introduced to modern civilisation or schooling had a zero incidence of short sightedness. 8% of those aged over 30 were short sighted and more than half of their children who went to school were short sighted. It was then found that children who played outside had better eyesight than children who stayed in more and read books closely. Eyestrain is the big culprit here. Staring at computer monitors, close work and small text on devices will cause eyestrain. Give your eyes a regular break, look outside or better still go for a long walk. Wimbledon is really pretty when you look around. Your eyes and your heart will thank you for it.
Optometrist check ups
Optometrists are trained in eye health as well as correcting your vision. I recommend a regular visit to a good one at least every 2 years, even if your eyesight is good. They will pick up eye and non-eye related illnesses like diabetes, thyroid disorders and blood pressure problems. Optometrists are very different to dispensing opticians who really only work to correct vision and make up glasses. Ophthalmic medical practitioner are the true specialists whom deal with complex and severe eye conditions such as those you would find at Moorfields Eye Hospital. I will go into eye problems in more detail in a later episode.
We all know that staring at the sun is dangerous. In bright sunlight, you will find yourself squinting which is your natural reaction to keeping the sun out. There is lots of UV radiation bouncing around that affects the eyes so protect them. Avoid the cheap sunglasses that do not block UV light. Now that’s a good excuse to ‘invest’ in a new pair of luxury sunglasses.
Cleaning your eyes
Facewashes, shower gels, shampoos and soaps are bountiful in supply, but not so much for cleaning your eyes. You don’t want to get any stinging chemicals in your eyes so avoid applying facewashes and soaps near the eyes. Fresh clean water is best to clean near the eyes. When removing waterproof eye make up, avoid getting any remover in the eye as much as possible and rinse after with clean water. The eyes have their own natural cleaning system – eyelids and tears – washing and wiping away dust and particles from the eyes. You can get lid cleaning products like Lumecare eye lid wipes if you find you are susceptible to minor eye problems.
Look after your eyes. If you need any more advice, you’ll find me in Wimbledon Common. I’m the bespectacled guy, wandering around, slightly lost and taking time to stop and stare.