The Spectator

Eye Examinations & Eye Health

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Did you know 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to impact their daily lives?

Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, however many people don’t know how to look after their eye health day to day. National Eye Health Week aims to change this by promoting the importance of regular eye examinations and good eye health.

Regular eye exams are important for assessing and monitoring your eye health and prescription, yet there are plenty of other ways you can look after your eye health in between your eye examinations.

  • Be aware of any changes in your vision. If you have noticed any changes, we would recommend contacting your local practice for advice. The optical team will talk through your symptoms with you to determine your needs.
  • A balanced diet containing leafy green vegetables, omega-3 fruit and wholegrains can help maintain your eye health. Eye-friendly nutrients are found in many fruits and vegetables that we eat every day.
  • Your weight can affect your sight. Obesity is a risk factor of eye conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts. These are the main causes of sight loss in the UK.
  • Regular exercise can reduce your risk of visual impairment by 58% compared to someone with a sedentary lifestyle. Our eyes require oxygen to stay healthy and physical activity can increase oxygen supplies to the optic nerve.
  • Smokers are 4 times more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than non-smokers and are also more likely to experience a more rapid progression of the condition. Smoking has also been linked to the development of cataracts and increase the risk of dry eye syndrome.
  • Your eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than your skin. Exposure to UV radiation can increase the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Wearing sunglasses will help to block the UV and protect your eyes even on an overcast day.
  • Increasing outdoor play for children could help reduce the risk of developing myopia by 50%. It is predicted that half of the world’s population will be short-sighted by 2050. With children spending more time indoors over the last 18 months, there are concerns that the pandemic may have contributed to this.
  • 90% of computer users say they suffer with eye fatigue, headaches, sore eyes, and problems with close and distance vision. Taking regular breaks from screen can help to relieve these symptoms. It is recommended that every 20 minutes, you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • 30,000 people in the UK suffer from an eye injury caused by DIY every year. Eye protection such as goggles or safety spectacles are essential for many DIY jobs.
  • You may not think it, but your make up can cause irritation and eye infections. Make up has an expiry date and using products such as mascara, eye shadow and foundation past this date can contribute to eye infections and blepharitis due to the high level of dirt and bacteria on these products. Frequently washing make up brushes and sponges can also reduce the risk of infection.
If you have any questions about taking care of your eye health, or need to book an eye examination contact your local Eye Place today, or book your appointment online.