Every 6 minutes someone is told they’re going blind, but at least half of sight loss is avoidable through following the right advice. Your eyes don’t often present any symptoms or pain when there is something wrong so it is easy to neglect your eyes and carry on as normal.
That’s exactly why it’s so important to have regular eye examinations and visit your optician if you notice anything different in your vision.
Eye disease in the UK
According to the RNIB, it is estimated around 6 million people are living with sight-threatening eye conditions in the UK alone. This includes conditions like AMD, glaucoma, cataracts and eye disease relating to diabetes. Another main cause of sight loss is an uncorrected refractive error. Refractive errors include myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia, which are usually treated by wearing spectacle lenses.
Loss of vision and eye disease can affect everyone, but there are some factors that can put you at a higher risk. If you are older than 60, or you come from a family with a history of eye disease, it’s even more important to look after your eyes.
Being aware of some of the symptoms and causes of common eye conditions can help you allowing you to take appropriate action early.
Regular eye examinations
One of the easiest ways of looking after your eyes is to attend regular eye examinations. It is recommended that you have an eye examination every 2 years, unless you have been told otherwise by your optician.
An eye examination doesn’t just check to see if you need corrective lenses. It also provides a health check for your eyes, with your local optician being able to spot early signs of eye conditions and other health issues.
If you do notice something different in your sight between your scheduled eye examinations just make an appointment with your optician sooner.
Other ways to look after your eyes
There are ways to help maintain healthy eyes and good vision in between your regular eye examinations. The College of Optometrists offers some very straightforward methods of looking after your eyes.
Smoking has been linked to cataracts and AMD, which are some of the leading causes of sight loss in the UK. If you smoke, you increase your chances of developing either of these conditions. With that being said, quitting smoking or not smoking at all are ways to maintain healthy eyes.
Eating a healthy diet is good for your overall health, including your eyes. Your eyes need vitamins to maintain good health, including vitamin A, C and E. It is recommended to eat plenty of leafy greens and colourful fruit and vegetables.
Lastly, one of the most important ways to look after your eyes is to protect them from the sun. Exposure to UV light can increase your chance of cataracts. Make sure you wear sunglasses when out in the sun and check that your everyday lenses have suitable UV protection too. Eye Protect System is embedded into Essilor lenses to protect against harmful light by partially filtering Blue-Violet light and absorbing UV light.
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