Sunday 20 January 2019

10 smart ways to protect your eyes

DUBAI, January 2, 2018

For people with a particular need to take care of their eyes – for example people with diabetes - regular and frequent eye screening is essential, said experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, highlighting 10 ways to protect eyes.

Five consultants at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai share their tips for healthy eyes in 2018:

Dr Avinash Gurbaxani, consultant ophthalmic surgeon in Uveitis, Medical Retinal Diseases and Cataract Surgery tips:

•    Stop smoking: According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People, smoking causes harm to the tissues of the eye. Research has confirmed the harmful effects of smoking on eyesight, particularly in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a leading cause of sight loss. Smokers double their risk of developing AMD, and tend to develop it earlier than non-smokers. Treatment options for AMD are limited but stopping smoking can reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.

Smoking is also linked to the development of cataracts, and although they are treatable and therefore do not lead to blindness, they remain a major cause of sight loss worldwide. Smoking can make diabetes related sight problems worse. Passive smoking is almost as harmful as first hand smoking.

In short, smoking is one of the most harmful lifestyle habits for the health of your eyes, so quitting (or even better - not starting) is probably the most effective way of protecting your eyes.

If you've tried to quit smoking before and started smoking again, keep trying. The more times you try to quit smoking, the more likely you are to succeed.

•    Take symptoms seriously: If you are experiencing unusual symptoms such as cloudy vision, blurred images, floating spots and loss of vision, head straight to an ophthalmologist to get them checked. You could be saving your sight.

Dr Paola Salvetti, consultant ophthalmologist, Specialist in Medical Retina tips:

•    Hydration: Try to stay hydrated and drink around 2 litres of water each day or more depending on your activity. Remember that air conditioning dehydrates and both AC and dehydration could lead to or exacerbate dryness of the eyes.

•    Exercise: A healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise protects some people against diabetes and other diseases which can damage sight. For people with diabetes, regular eye screening is essential because of the greater risk of potentially serious eye complications.
Dr Mohammed Sohaib Mustafa, consultant ophthalmic surgeon, Specialist in Glaucoma and Cataract Surgery tips:

•    Older eyes need more care: We take our eyes for granted but in our forties a lot of us start to need glasses who did not before. Most people do not know that there is an increasing risk of eye disorders with age and for the over 40s, we recommend annual eye check-ups.

•    Healthy diet: Diet influences the health of the body generally, including the eyes, and a vitamin-rich diet including fruit and vegetables is a positive lifestyle choice.  

Protecting your eyes starts with a balanced diet with extra emphasis on nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E. These nutrients are good for the eyes and might help ward off age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and delay cataracts, studies show.

Try to balance your diet and regularly eating some of these foods can help lead to good eye health:
o    Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collards
o    Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
o    Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
o    Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices

Dr Osama Giledi, consultant ophthalmologist, Specialist in Cataract, Cornea and Refractive Correction Surgery tips:

•    Sunglasses: In a hot and dusty climate, protecting the eyes with good quality sunglasses with polarised lenses and a hat with a brim, is a sensible precaution.
•    Rest your eyes: If you spend a lot of time at the computer or any other electronic device or reading, try to take a break every 20-30 minutes to reduce eyestrain and dryness of the eyes.

Dr Igor Kozak, consultant ophthalmologist, specialist in Vitreoretinal Surgery, Medical Retina and Uveitis tips:

•    Children need eye tests too: Some eye problems run in families – if anyone in your family has a squint or lazy eye you should arrange an eye test by three years of age. If you see or suspect an eye problem you should get an assessment right away rather than wait till the child is 3. Most causes of poor vision in children are easily correctable if they are picked up and treated in time, from birth until about 7 1/2 years of age so checking the eyes during this period is important.

•    Eye checks: Everyone should have a regular eye examination with a qualified ophthalmologist to maintain good eye health – not just the quality of the vision but to check the overall health of the eye (did you know that the eye can also reveal health issues in other parts of the body?). Most adults should have a sight test every two years and one year for people with diabetes.  Many people with diabetes have no symptoms until the eye disease is advanced; this is why screening is so important and why I strongly advise the community to have regular eye checks.

Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai (MEHD) is the first overseas branch of Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the oldest and one of the largest centres for ophthalmic treatment, teaching and research in the world. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Moorfields | Eye care |

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