National Eye Health Week 2021

Posted on: 20/09/2021

Starting on the 20th September, National Eye Health Week 2021 promotes the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.

Did you know?

  • Two million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable
  • The eyes are considered to be the windows to a person’s overall health. They can reveal symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma, and high cholesterol
  • Regular eye exams also help ensure that you are able to see as clearly as possible. Clear vision enables your independence, enabling you to feel safer while you drive, walk, watch movies, or even spend time with friends and family
  • An updated eye prescription can also reduce your risk of having a serious fall

How can I maintain my vision?

1. Schedule regular eye exams
Scheduling an eye exam every one to two years is the best way to stay up-to-date on your eye health. If you experience blurry vision, a glare, double vision, or if you notice that colours appear faded, be sure to speak to your GP or optician.

2. Turn up the lights
People with low vision need brighter lighting in their living areas. The symptoms of low vision include loss of central and/or peripheral vision, blurred vision, and night blindness. People who have trouble recognising faces, reading, driving, or even shopping should consult an optician who can check on any underlying conditions and advise on low vision aids and devices that can enhance reading and other daily tasks.

3. Avoid injuries to your eyes
Every home should have a pair of safety glasses that are easily accessible for days when you’re doing hands-on work. In addition, it’s good to keep a pair of sunglasses handy to protect your eyes against potentially damaging sun rays.

4. Eat healthy
A well-balanced diet also helps you stay at a healthy weight. That lowers your odds of obesity and related diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults.

5. Quit smoking
Smoking increases your chances of getting cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems.

6. Look away from the screen
Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause symptoms such as eyestrain, headaches and neck, back, and shoulder pain.

To protect your eyes:

  • Move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor
  • Use an anti-glare screen if needed
  • Choose a comfortable, supportive chair
  • Rest your eyes every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds and get up at least every 2 hours and take a 15-minute break

Opticians are still open during the pandemic, so make sure to book an eye test at your earliest convenience.