Optical Express is ap-peel-ing to patients to look after their eyes by offering fresh fruit during National Eye Health Week.
Free fruit will be available at selected Optical Express clinics until Sunday September 25 to coincide with the seventh National Eye Health Week which runs from September 19-25. The campaign was launched to promote the importance of good eye health and the need for regular sight tests for everyone.
According to new research 60% of people are unaware that the food we consume has an impact on eye health and 20% believe that changing your diet won’t make a difference to your vision.
However, there is increasing evidence to show that eating a healthy diet can prevent the development of sight-threatening eye conditions including glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 people.
Mesha Tanna, one of our senior optometrists commented: “Getting your five-a-day isn’t just good for your waistline. Maintaining a healthy diet is now known to be a major factor in protecting your sight. Some health complications associated with being overweight, for example having diabetes and strokes, can also have a negative impact on sight.
“Everyone knows that carrots are good for your eyes, but the vitamins and minerals found in many other fruits and vegetables play a key role in protecting vision.
“Leafy greens such as spinach and kale are packed full of lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants which lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
“Dark berries are naturally rich in anthocyanins, which helps reduce the risk of disorders including glaucoma whilst Vitamin E – which is found in some nuts and seeds – can help to slow the damage caused by UV exposure. Omega-3, found in oily fish, can help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye.
“Most people can get all the nutrients they require by eating well, but some people, such as the elderly who have a poor appetite, may benefit from taking supplements. Anyone who has concerns about not getting the vitamins and minerals they need, they should consult their local optician.”
Mesha continued: “I’d encourage all Optical Express patients to take advantage of our free fruit offer and think about the steps they should take to protect their eye health, such as having regular sight tests, stop smoking or cutting back on alcohol.
“Sight is the one sense people fear losing the most, but many of us don’t know how best to take care of our eyes.”
 Survey by Thea Pharmaceuticals, published September 2016