Health Awareness And Your Eyesight
Speak to most people at the start of the year and they’ll often be thinking of living a healthier life in some way, shape or form.
Some will adopt a more proactive approach than others as we all move at a pace that suits us when it comes to change.
However, there are some commonalities that ring true everywhere.
One of which is that when we live a more balanced and healthier lifestyle, we typically reduce the likelihood of diseases, the main culprits that plague our society today.
Following on from this, the knock-on impact or secondary side effects/precursors can be dealt with.
So does being healthier affect our eyes?
In a nutshell, yes.
Some eye conditions can be brought about as a result of our overall health and the choices we make on a daily basis will impact the speed at which these eye conditions may affect us.
Yet not everyone seems to be aware of this eye-opening fact!
We’re here to change that as too many people are living with impacted vision due to health conditions that may have been treatable or preventable.
What common health conditions can impact our vision?
Having high blood pressure can affect your eyesight.
Hypertension as it’s referred to in the medical world means that the pressure within your vascular system is above what is considered a ‘normal range'.
Just what this normal range is will be open to interpretation to a degree, but typically would be considered to be 120/80 or thereabouts.
The 120 figure refers to your systolic pressure, which is the force that's created when your heart pumps blood around your system when it contracts.
And the 80 is in relation to the diastolic pressure, this is the pressure reading for the resistance to blood flow in your system.
High blood pressure could be a reading of 140/90, 160/100 or even higher than that.
It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).
High blood pressure could be a reading of 140/90, 160/100 or even higher than that.
When you’re reaching these kinds of readings it is very likely there’ll be signs and symptoms in place, regular checkups with your doctors can help to bring an awareness of his condition.
Medication may be useful in some cases to lower blood pressure.
How does high blood pressure affect the eyes?
When the pressure of blood being pumped around your body becomes too high it can cause damage to some of the smaller, more delicate blood vessels.
This is because they simply weren't designed to cope with large amounts of pressure, which can result in them bursting or their thin walls being partially torn open.
When this happens the blood escapes into areas it shouldn't be.
So in the case of the eye, it can build up behind the retina, causing damage to the tissues, optic nerves or eyeball itself and resulting in blurred vision or blindness.
This is known as Retinopathy.
Equally as likely is the blocking of the blood vessels.
Keeping an eye on blood pressure, being more active or being prescribed medication to lower it if necessary can all help keep this in check.
Fluid can build up behind the retina, which is known as Choroidopathy. This can lead to scarring of the retina and your vision being affected.
Last but not least having overly elevated blood pressure can damage the optic nerve and block blood flow, which is known as optic neuropathy.
Type 2 diabetes can affect your vision and eye health
Our sedentary lifestyles and overconsumption of certain food groups have been contributing factors to this disease's prevalence over the last few decades.
It will impact your whole body, its sensitivity to insulin and blood sugar when eating or drinking. Not as commonly known is that your vision will also be affected.
Whilst studies are being conducted to detect this earlier, such as multicolour widefield scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, which has made the process easier, the actual condition is still, unfortunately, a side effect of living with Diabetes.
The use of these lasers detects hyporeflective areas in the eye which are indicative of damage to the retinal cells.
Glaucoma will deteriorate your eyesight
This condition is the deterioration of eyesight, it currently has no cure and leads to loss of vision over time.
Regular eye screening can help detect it at the early stages.
Your field of vision narrows and becomes tunnel-like in its gradual reduction, increasing over time until partial sightedness becomes blindness.
In particular, we should pay attention to the effects that blue light may be having here on vision when Glaucoma is present.
Research shows that exposure over time to high-energy wave blue light can cause irreversible photochemical damage to eye tissue, as its extremely sensitive to light.
As this is an eye condition that is inherited it’s worth knowing about your family's eye history and if there are already cases of it if so this will increase your likelihood of having it too.
Within this grouping of conditions, there will be 4 types of Glaucoma you can encounter, these are:
- Acute angle closure glaucoma
- Normal tension glaucoma
- Open-angle glaucoma
- Pigmentary glaucoma
It's important to be aware of these variations and especially so if you have children as they may experience symptoms and not be able to describe them accurately.
To discover more about the symptoms, the condition as a whole or what can be done to manage it we recommend speaking with your doctor, local Optometrist or eye expert.
Prescribed eye drops can assist in the management of this condition.
If you’d like to read more about Glaucoma here
What can we do to keep our eyes healthy this year and beyond?
Since it's good practice to view the eyes as part of the whole system, we recommend taking an honest look at your overall lifestyle and dietary choices.
This would include screen time and overall exposure to blue light.
Simple steps can be implemented, which over time, will add up to a much greater net impact.
Making change more manageable and likely to remain part of your day-to-day lifestyle.
Ultimately you should discover the steps which align with your goals, some may be easier to do than others so go at your own pace and introduce new habits when you feel ready.
- Nutritional consultations can help determine where you’re out of balance and if certain nutrients may be lacking in your diet, they may prescribe vitamins alongside a personalised eating plan to help.
- Adding supplements to help with overall well-being and topping up nutrients the eyes require such as Omega 3, zeaxthanin or lutein.
- Stepping away from devices, screens and tech to relax the body, mind and eyes on a regular basis breaks up your exposure to blue light.
- Eye drops can assist us when dry or tired, stinging eyes are present, so having a good quality bottle to hand may prove useful.
How can you live a healthier lifestyle to reduce your risk of these conditions?
As we know the eyes are incredibly delicate and will be affected by your overall wellness.
So keeping on top of overall activity levels, being mindful of what you’re eating and how much sleep you are getting will all add up here.
Below are some of our favourite ways to be healthier overall.
- Find an exercise that you enjoy doing, can commit to or that is done as part of a team, due to the group setting and accountability, you’ll be more likely to stick with it!
- Reducing stress levels in areas you can control will serve your mind and body well. If you find that your blood pressure is high then reducing stress will be beneficial, for you and your eyesight. Yoga, Tai chi and pilates may well serve you more effectively than strenuous forms of exercise.
- Breathing exercises can assist massively in feeling healthier, as your body and mind rely on the exhalation of carbon dioxide to detoxify.
- Sleep in a cool, dark and comfortable setting to give your body and mind the best chance to switch off and relax.
- Nourish your mind, body and soul with activities and pastimes that bring you a sense of fulfilment, happiness and joy.
What methods are most useful for being aware of your overall health and eyesight?
Gaining awareness of the condition your body and mind are currently in can be a journey not all of us are prepared to go on.
The reason is that with the body’s complexities and ways that it can become imbalanced, there seems to be an almost infinite amount of possibilities and combinations to explore.
With that being said a good starting point is to explore the simpler, more accessible tests and screening procedures before moving into areas that may be trickier to find:
- Blood pressure checks
- Blood sugar level monitoring
- Hormone profiling
- Gut bacteria screening
- Eye tests
- Food sensitivity tests
Being healthy is a lifestyle
As much as we may encourage you to implement, adjust or bring about change in your quest for healthier eyes and vision.
Ultimately the buck stops with you.
Sure there are ways that we can assist, such as with our range of bluelight blocking technology, or advanced eye supplement.
But you'll have to take action on your end.
We hope this article has been useful and would love to hear how you get on implementing the strategies.
Until next time.
How we reviewed this article:
Ocushield has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations.
Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.