There are a number of compelling reasons why any sensible person should have regular sight tests, these include:
• 1.8 million people in the UK are living with sight loss. For 53% of these, a simple sight test and new spectacles could really help.
• A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough
• During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected
An obvious question arises regarding how often people should go for a sight test? The expert advice is that most people should have a sight test once every two years. However, certain groups may need a sight test more frequently. These include; people with a history of eye conditions in the family and people over 40 of Afro-Caribbean or Asian origin.
The best approach is to speak to a local optometrist for individual advice.
Some suggestions to help keep your eyes healthy:
• Eat well, protecting your eyes starts with the food you eat. Studies have shown that nutrients in omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and vitaminsâ¨C and E may help to prevent age-related vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods containing eye- friendly nutrients include green leafy vegetables, oily fish such as salmon and citrus fruits.
• You should also ensure that your alcohol intake is within the Department of Health’s recommended limits.
• Be screen smart. Although working at a computer will not harm the health of your eyes, sitting staring at a screen for long periods can cause ‘screen fatigue’ – sore, itchy or tired eyes; headaches; impaired colour perception and temporary blurring of your vision. So, it is important to take regular breaks to keep your eyes feeling fresh and bright.
• If you smoke, you have another good reason toâ¨kick the habit. Smoking is directly linked to blindness. Current smokers are four times more likely to develop macular degeneration (the UK’s leading cause of blindness) compared to past smokers or non-smokers
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