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Image / Editorial

No eyesores: 5 surprising things that affect your sight


by Jennifer McShane
07th Oct 2019
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World Sight Day (on Thursday, 10 October), means there is an extra excuse to give our peepers some TLC.  We know we put them through a lot; all that screentime isn’t exactly helping. But there are simple things we can do to ensure we are giving them the care they need. This week, Specsavers decided to share five surprising things that can have an effect on our eyes. While people often put their health and wellbeing at the top of their agenda, many may not realise that the food we eat, the things we do with our day and even our makeup can all make an impact on our eyes.


Crying is good for you

While many of us may want to hold our tears back when we’re feeling down or frustrated, don’t. Chairperson of Specsavers Ireland, Kerril Hickey, explains it’s actually doing our eyes a lot of good: ‘When we don’t have enough tears to lubricate our eyes they can become dry and irritated and we can even start to get slightly blurred vision. Tears are so important as they can wash away foreign matter that might come into contact with your eye and they also help reduce the risk of eye infections.” So don’t feel bad if you get all teary over your favourite film.

Eating fish will help

Eating plenty of fish which is high in omega 3 fatty acids can help with eye lubrication. “When an individual has a dry eye the surface of the eye becomes inflamed. This inflammation further damages the cells which are responsible for tear production, resulting in a vicious circle of increasing inflammation and dryness,” she continued. “It is well documented that omega 3 essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and therefore may offer some degree of protection against dry eye.”

And if your eyes are still on the dry side, it’s a good idea to keep some drops close to hand, especially if you’re wearing contact lenses.

Sleepless nights mean your eyes will suffer

We know how important a good night of slumber is for our general wellbeing and if you’re not getting enough, it’ll show around the eyes – in more ways than one. If you ever feel your eyelids twitching from time to time, you might be experiencing myokymia. Myokimia causes spasms which are often uncomfortable and distracting and can be caused by lack of sleep. “It’s essential that we all get enough sleep as it gives our bodies an opportunity to rest – including our eye muscles, which will help to stop them from twitching,” Kerril adds.

Related: Can’t sleep? These 5 apps will help you nod off

Not just for Millennials: Eat all the avocados

There is another reason to smother the wondrous, millennial-favoured superfood on our toast. “Not only are avocados rich in zinc and vitamin B which help stave off cataracts, but they also have a high amount of lutein. Research suggests lutein is a carotenoid which helps filter out blue light, helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration.”

Related: Do millennials love avocados more than sex? The Spill discusses sex with Louise Bruton

Don’t forget your makeup 

We all know that not taking off our make-up is bad for our skin (really bad), but naturally, doing can also harmful to our eyes. Leaving your eye makeup on when you go to sleep will increase your chances of getting bacterial and oil build up around your eyes or even inflammation. Make sure you always gently remove beauty products to reduce infection and keep your eyes clean. At the very least, remove your eyelashes and contact lenses – you can always soothe your skin the next day…

Main photograph: Unsplash


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Related: Reduce screen-time with these 10 quirky podcasts for kids

Related: Could Instagram’s new feature be the way to finally pull our thumbs away from our screens?

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