You've got amazing eyes!
Optrex's guide to understanding the extraordinary job of your eyes, understanding potential eye conditions and measures you can take to better look after them.
The eyes are the fastest reacting muscle in your body, contracting in less than 0.001 seconds.¹ They're also one of the human body's most complex features.
How do your eyes work?
Your eye can be split into three parts, the front of the eye the middle and back,² all of which play an important role in helping you see.
Front of the eye
Light rays enter the front of your eye through the clear cornea and lens. The cornea focuses the light towards your retina, and the lens fine tunes the focus.
The iris, which is the circle that determines the colour of your eyes, changes the size of the pupil to allow different amounts of light in.²
Did you know 55% of us have brown eyes making it the most common eye colour?¹
The pupil is the dark circle right in the middle of your eye. It gets smaller in bright conditions, when it needs to let less light in, and bigger when it's dark.²
The middle of your eye is filled with a jelly called the vitreous. This jelly allows light to pass through to the retina at the back.²
Back of the eye
The retina at the back of your eye is a light-sensitive layer which consists of rod and cone cells. Rod cells are concentrated around the edge of the retina. They help you see things that aren't right in front of you and to see things in low light. Cone cells are concentrated in the centre of your retina and they help you see in detail and in colour².
These cells send electrical signals to the optic nerve. Your optic nerve is made up of thousands of fibres which pass the signals along to your brain where they are processed into the images you see².
How does everything work together?
The way you see is similar to how an old-fashioned camera works. Your retina is like the film which stores an image of what you're looking at. The image directed onto your retina is then sent to your brain where it is effectively processed. So, you actually "see" in your brain with the light information sent from your eyes².
Understand potential conditions
Common conditions include short-sightedness, long-sightedness and glaucoma.
With so much going on in this small but highly complex area, it's not surprising that your eyes are susceptible to a wide array of conditions which can affect your vision and overall healthᴲ.
Refractive errors are eye disorders caused by the shape of your eye being irregular. This makes it difficult for your eyes to focus images clearly, and your vision can become blurred or impairedᴲ.
Short sight (myopia) and long sight (hypermetropia) are common conditions, both caused by the cornea and lens not focusing properly on your retinaᴲ.
- Short sight is where your eyeball is elongated or the lens is too thick, causing the image to focus in front of your retinaᴲ
- Long sight is where your eyeball is too short or the lens too thin, causing the image to focus behind your retina.
Prescription glasses can help with both long and short sightedness.ᴲ
There are other sight-threatening eye conditions and eye diseases that are not so easily corrected, including cataractsᴲ.
It is recommended to have regular eye test to see whether your vision is being impacted.
How to care for your eyes
What's good for your eyes? Less screen time, less cigarettes and less ultraviolet rays.
Give your eyes a break from the screen
While computers have made life easier for all of us, staring at screens all day has made life much harder for our eyes. If you overdo it, you could suffer from eyestrain which might result in blurry vision and difficulty focusing at longer distances.
To help avoid these problems, give yourself regular breaks from the screen and make sure that the prescription for your glasses or contact lenses is up to date⁴
Give up smoking
That's easier said than done for most people, we know, but the huge potential health benefits make it well worth your while giving it another go. Saying good-bye to cigarettes can help reduce the risk of cataracts and damage to your optic nerve. It can also help prevent macular degeneration, which is a worsening of vision that tends to affect you as you get older⁴.
Shades are cool
A good pair of sunglasses that blocks 99%+ of ultraviolet rays will help reduce your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration⁴.
Keep an eye on your diet
Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids containing DHA* and zinc, are scientifically proven to help maintain normal vision. These nutrients can be found naturally in:
- Broad-leaf greens like spinach and kale
- Salmon, tuna, mackerel and other oily fish
- Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources
- Brightly coloured fruit and veg such as corn, carrots, peppers and oranges
Another benefit of a carefully-controlled diet is that, along with regular exercise, it can help you maintain a healthy weight. This, in turn, will reduce your chances of suffering from conditions like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults⁴.
Talking of exercise, an inactive lifestyle can contribute to a range of eye problems, particularly if you're over 60. Exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes⁵.
Eye Health Food supplements
Today, we're making our eyes work harder than ever. Excessive screen time, pollution, stress and age can all have an impact on your eyes.
Optrex has introduced two expertly formulated eye care food supplements in the range
Optrex now offers a choice of vitamin and nutrient supplements designed with the eyes in mind.
- Optrex ProVision is formulated with eye health in mind with such as DHA, zinc and vitamin B2* which are scientifically proven to help maintain normal vision. The product also contains lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and magnesium.
- Optrex ProVision Plus adds vitamin A which has a role in the process of cell specialisation, Evening Primrose oil which contains the Omega 6 fatty acid Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) and Vitamin E.
*DHA, Zinc, Vitamin A and B2 contribute towards maintenance of normal vision. The beneficial effect of DHA is obtained with a daily intake of 250mg.
Find out more about Optrex ProVision and Optrex ProVision Plus supplements or to place an order.
When did you last have your eyes tested?
Regular visits to an optician are strongly recommended to help take care of your eyes.
Your eye test will cover:
- Questions about your family medical history, as this can be an early indicator of problems
- Tests to reveal if you're near-sighted, far-sighted or have an astigmatism (a curved cornea that can lead to blurred vision) or age-related issues such as presbyopia
- Eye pressure and optic nerve tests to check for glaucoma⁴
- https://www.lenstore.co.uk/eyecare/51-human-eye-facts - sourced June 2019
- https://www.rnib.org.uk/eye-health-eye-conditions/how-eye-works - sourced June 2019
- https://www.sightsavers.org/protecting-sight/the-eyes - sourced June 2019
- https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/good-eyesight - sourced June 2019
- http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/looking-after-your-eyes/looking-after-your-eyes - sourced June 2019
Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet or a healthy lifestyle.