How’s your sight seeing?
A guide to your eyes and common eye conditions
Regular Check Ups
Get your eyes tested every two years even if you think your vision is fine.
Your optometrist can spot signs of serious eye disease and some common health problems, including high blood pressure, long before you notice symptoms.
So, routine eye tests really are essential health checks for everyone.
Quit the habit
Smoking is directly linked to blindness.
Current smokers are up to four times more likely to develop macular degeneration (UK’s leading cause of blindness) compared to past smokers or non-smokers.
It’s all relative
Talk to your relatives about their eye health as some eye conditions have genetic links such as squint.
It is important that you share this information with your optometrist or eye health professional.
Be cool in the sun
Protect your eyes when it’s sunny or when you’re in high glare areas such as near snow or water.
Cumulative UV exposure can increase your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
When choosing sunglasses make sure that they are safe as well as stylish! Look out for the CE, UV 400 or british standard marks – this ensures they provide a safe level of protection from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays.
If you wear contact lenses make sure you look after them properly.
Thoroughly was and dry your hands before touching your contact lenses or your eyes and only ever clean your contacts using the lens solution recommended by your practitioner.
Never shower, sleep or swim with your contact lenses in because this can put you at risk of developing a serious eye infection which could lead to sight loss.
Protect your eyes
If you work with hazardous or airbourne materials at work or home wear safety glasses to prevent eye injuries.
DIY and gardening are common causes of injury.
Always take care when storing and using household cleaning products – 40% of chemical eye injuries in children are caused by laundry detergent capsules.
Keep fit and healthy
Being physically active could help reduce your risk of vision impairment.
Brisk walks, swimming and cycling are all great ways to stay fit and healthy.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important as a high BMI significantly increases your risk of sight loss.
Protecting your eyes starts with food you eat.
Studies have shown that nutrients in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitamins C and E may help prevent age-related conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Foods containing eye-friendly nutrients include green leafy vegetables, oily fish such as salmon eggs, whole grains, chicken and citrus fruits.
You should also ensure your alcohol intake is within recommended limits.
Spending two hours or more a day outdoors could help reduce myopia (short sightedness) in children.
Be screen smart
Although working at a computer won’t harm your eyes, sitting staring at a screen for long period can cause ‘screen fatigue’ – sore, itchy or tired eyes, headaches, impaired colour perception and temporary blurring.
So it is important to take regular breaks to keep your eyes feeling fresh and bright.