Did you know?
- 20 Million British people risk avoidable sight loss because they fail to have regular sight tests.
- One in ten British adults have NEVER had an eye examination.
- 85% of us admit to having problems with our vision.
- It is estimated that 1 in 5 children has an undetected problem with their vision.
- A quarter of over 60 year old say the quality of their vision affects their daily routine (source of information. The Eyecare Trust).
Many of our 80 and 90 year olds still have 6/6 20/20 vision, a fact which really surprises a lot of younger people who assume everyone automatically goes blind as they get older. Here’s what we know about looking after your eye health; keeping your eyes in good condition and avoiding common pitfalls.
Have a regular eye exam
We recommend a comprehensive eye examination approximately every two years. The Eye Care Trust recommends children aged under 9 and people aged 70 and over have annual eye examinations.
Our comprehensive eye care examination involves a total examination of the front of your eye (using the WAM 800) and retinal imaging of the back of the eye (using the Optos and/or OCT). After this, your Optometrist will review the results; carry out any necessary extra testing and advise you on the most appropriate sight correction solution (if any is necessary). During the eye examination we take a lot of measurements and then compare these each time we see you. Subtle changes indicate future problems, many of which can be avoided, in fact it’s estimated 50% of actual blindness is avoidable.
Be cool and wear your shades
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 50% of cataracts could be avoided if everyone wore sunglasses. Solid tints, or Transitions, both block dangerous UV but watch out for fake designer sunglasses. The ones some patients have brought in haven’t blocked UV at all but made their pupils nice and big to let in lots of harmful UV!
Know your family history
Glaucoma and diabetes are two common causes of avoidable blindness that tend to run in families.
Eat right to protect your sight
Recent research shows the importance of eating a wide range of coloured vegetables – especially dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. The lutein found in dark green vegetables is part of the actual seeing cells of the eye and needs to be replenished regularly to keep your vision sharp.
Keep your contact lenses (and their case) clean and wash your hands before handling them. Gardening and babies’ nappies are among the home risks for dirty hands and nails but it’s the kitchen sponge which has the most bacteria and your hand towel might not be as clean as you think if it’s shared by people who don’t wash their hand properly.
Wear protective eyewear
if it’s required for your job, it’s a legal requirement and the legislation has stopped thousands of people from going blind through accidents and saved the NHS millions. Your employer is legally obliged to provide suitable eyewear in good useable condition. In the home, the most dangerous activities are DIY and gardening. We can supply inexpensive safety glasses with a prescription.
Smoking is strongly linked to eye and heart disease. Vaping has helped some of our smoking patients give up altogether but new research suggests it’s not much safer.
Our really fit 80 and 90 year olds recommend fun exercise such as ballroom dancing; biking; yoga; pilates; golf, walking and rambling often mixed with a little alcohol and a lot of good company.
More information on common eye health problems is contained in the rest of this section of our website. Remember that we are expert at identifying eye health issues and recommending the most appropriate treatment so please get in touch if you need help.