Feeling down? Swinton Square opticians reveal the big health reason why you shouldn’t hold back the tears
Monday 21 January, also known as Blue Monday, is officially the most depressing day of the year – the dark days and cold temperatures are enough to make anyone feel down. But rather than keep your feelings bottled up, Specsavers is urging local people not to hold back their tears on Blue Monday, as not only does a good cry offer a relief of emotion, but it can do wonders for your eye health too.
Specsavers clinical spokesperson Dr Nigel Best says: ‘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.’
This dryness which occurs when we do not have enough lubrication in our eyes is often referred to as dry eye syndrome, and can be extremely uncomfortable.
Dr Best says: ‘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.’
However not only do our tears help with this lubrication but they can help keep our eyes clean too. Dr Best adds: ‘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.’
Dr Best has some additional tips for general eye health this New Year:
- Something fishy
Dry eye syndrome occurs when we do not have enough lubrication in our eyes. However, eating fish high in omega 3 fatty acids can help.
Dr Best says: ‘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.
‘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. A large epidemiological study in the USA found that women who consumed five servings of tuna per week were at a 68% reduced risk of suffering from dry eyes.’
- Get some sleep
Do you ever feel your eyes twitching from time to time? These spasms are known as myokymia and can often be uncomfortable and distracting, and they are often caused by a lack of sleep.
Dr Best says: ‘It’s essential that we all get enough sleep as it give our bodies an opportunity to rest – including our eye muscles, which will help to stop them from twitching.
- Av an avocado
The wondrous superfood has been a breakfast staple for millennials everywhere. But rather than just being a tasty way to start the day – and of course providing countless photo opportunities for the ‘gram – the trusty avocado is actually great for your eyes.
Dr Best says: ‘Avocados are a huge food trend, which is great news for our eyes. 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 our blue light, helping to prevent age-related macular degeneration.’
- Go for a walk
Not only is exercising good for your overall health but it’s good for your eyes too. Dr Best says: ‘Studies have shown that regular exercise, such as walking, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 70% and it can also decrease the risk of age-related cataracts too.’
Book your next appointment today: www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/swinton