Are glaucoma tests a must?
Absolutely. 'We call glaucoma the "secret thief of sight" because it has no symptoms until the final, irreversible stages,' explains Marchetti. 'It’s a genetic condition, caused by a build-up of fluid and pressure inside the eye which, untreated, results in tunnel vision and blindness. Testing for glaucoma should be a routine part of all eye examinations. By identifying pressure changes at an early stage, the condition can be monitored and, if necessary, halted in its tracks with eye drops.'
Can diet benefit eye health?
'The most important nutrients for eye health are vitamins A (which our bodies also convert from beta-carotene in our diets), C and E, zinc, selenium and copper, as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, essential omega-3 fats (especially DHA) and the plant polyphenol resveratrol,' says dietitian Helen Bond. 'Eating a rainbow of fruit and vegetables is the best way to benefit. The best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are dark green leafy veg and brightly coloured orange and yellow fruit and veg. Include oily fish, lean meat, eggs, nuts and seeds for their omega 3s and minerals.'
Can supplements help?
According to a large research study, AREDS 2, lutein and zeaxanthin have an important part to play in protecting eye health, particularly the macular, and may help reverse certain conditions such as AMD. You can find them in many multivitamin and mineral supplements or seek out a special formulation for eye health, which should also contain vitamins C, E, zinc, copper and omega 3s.
How else can I protect my eyes as they age?
'UV rays damage the delicate skin around eyes and can trigger cataracts, AMD and cancer,' says Dr Shah-Desai On sunny days wear sunglasses. Make sure they carry the CE mark and British Standard BS EN 1836:2005 for 100% UV protection.
Dry eye solutions
'While dry eye can affect anyone - and digital eye strain is a major cause - it's most common in women, contact-lens wearers and with age,' says Shah-Desai.
- Get it checked: See your optometrist. Decreased tear production can be cause by an underlying condition, or certain medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants or HRT.
- Double-check: Make sure you're wearing the right prescription and contact lens type
- 20-20-20: Follow the 20-20-20 screen-time rule. Look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.