Optical Express is promoting the link between diet and eye health by giving out free fruit to patients during this year’s National Eye Health Week (NEHW), which began on Monday (19–25 September).
Encouraging patients to eat healthily, the multiple highlights new research which has found that 60% of people are unaware that diet can affect their eye health, and 20% believing that a change to their diet would not make a difference to their vision.
Senior optometrist at Optical Express, Mesha Tanna, advised: “Maintaining a healthy diet is now known to be an important factor in protecting sight. Some of the health complications associated with being overweight, such as diabetes and strokes, can also have an adverse impact on sight.
“We all know that carrots are good for your eyes, but the vitamins and minerals found in other fruits and vegetables also play a key role in protecting vision. For example, leafy greens such as spinach are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin – antioxidants that lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.”
Now in its seventh year, the awareness week runs annually to promote the importance of eye health and regular sight tests. A different eye health-related theme has been selected for each day of the week. Themes include general eye health, children’s eye health, diabetic retinopathy, sight after sixty, fundraising, nutrition and the eye, and smoking and sight loss.
It’s not too late for practices to get involved as there are a range of free to download resource materials available via the organiser’s website. Materials include posters and flyers, as well as leaflets with essential advice on topics such as sight after sixty and nutrition, as well as activity sheets for children.