Many people are living with poor vision or, worse still, putting their sight at risk by failing to go for regular eye checks according to research in aid of National Eye Health Week.
Findings show that despite more than two thirds (68%) of people valuing eyesight above all other senses, more than a third (36%) of people admit leaving it over a month – and in some cases (13%) ‘years’ – before seeking help, even after noticing their eyesight deteriorate.
The research also shows that almost two thirds (61%) of people put up with poor eyesight despite it having a detrimental effect on their life. Over half of people (53%) said they sometimes struggle to see what is on the TV and a further 50% struggle to read books.
Most people should have their eyes examined by an optometrist every two years but this could vary depending on your age and family or medical history – an optometrist will be able to provide advice on this. Despite this, the research shows that more than 1 in 10 (13%) of us have never had our eyes tested.
Dr Susan Blakeney, clinical adviser to the College of Optometrists, says:
It’s concerning that despite sight being considered our most precious sense people don’t treat problems with their eyes in the same way they would other conditions, which would result in an immediate trip to the GP.Regular sight checks are important for two reasons, firstly because having your vision corrected can improve the quality of day to day life, but secondly and perhaps more importantly regular sight tests can mean early detection of conditions such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration which could lead to sight loss. An optometrist may also be able to spot the signs of some broader health conditions with symptoms that affect the eyes, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
If you notice any changes, such as straight lines appearing wavy, ‘missing’ patches or blurry vision, then you should book yourself in for a sight test. Regular eye examinations should form part of everyone’s health routine, after all looking after your eyes is just as important as looking after the rest of your body.
Maintaining good eye health is integral to a healthy lifestyle. We offer a range services to ensure that your eyes are in the best condition possible and our professional advice is welcomed by our clients. There are of course a few things that we can all do to help keep our eyes in the best condition, if you show signs of eye fatigue or experience sudden changes in your vision it might be that you need a check-up.
1. Stop smoking
Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD)
2. Eat healthily
Maintain a healthy diet and weight. Obesity and a lack of vitamins A and C are causes for AMD. A new study has revealed that eating oily fish twice a week could help prevent the development of wet and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The omega 3 fatty acids which are found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon are believed to halt the progression of several eye diseases.
3. Take nutritional supplements
If you’ve got a family history of AMD take iCAPS, Visionace or Macushield
4. Wear sunglasses
UV rays are a risk factor to developing cataracts and AMD in later life
5. Avoid dry eyes
Central heating, air conditioning and computer use can cause dry eyes. Lubricating eye drops such as Blink Eye Drops can reduce discomfort.
6. Research your family history
Many diseases like Glaucoma run in families, be safe by having regular check-ups.
7. Wear prescribed spectacles
Corrective lenses will help eyes work more efficiently and won’t make your eyesight worse.
8. Have regular sight tests
Eye tests don’t just pick up eye problems but general health problems too, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
9. Take regular breaks
Let your eyes relax every hour or so; look across the office or out of a window.
10. Better safe than sorry
The sudden onset of symptoms like blurred vision, flashing lights, floaters or eye pain might in rare occasions indicate a problem that needs investigating. So have a check up ASAP.