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How Can I Prevent Blindness?

Sep 24

Did you know that about 50% of sight loss is preventable?

Here is how to help prevent blindness or sight loss:

Have regular eye examinations

When an optometrist examines your eyes, they can see the onset of eye diseases as well as other health conditions (including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, tumours and diabetes to name but a few). There are eye diseases which can be symptomless at the beginning – such as Glaucoma – a leading cause of sight loss. By having your eyes examined, this can be picked up before it leads to blindness.For most people, a sight examination every two years is essential.

Know your family history

Is there a family history of eye disease in your family? If so, then it’s essential that you let your optometrist (the person who carries out the eye examination know). They will then know what to look out for and what frequency of eye examination you should have. If you are aged 40 or over and have a close relative with glaucoma, you can even have your eye test funded by the NHS.

Know your family history for your baby

When you have a baby, they will ask for your family history of eye problems. This includes conditions such as astigmatism, in which the cornea is the wrong shape and so vision is affected. It’s important to know whether both sets of parents and their close relatives have suffered with any visual difficulties, because at the age of 2, they will then have their eyes examined by a professional to check that they haven’t got it too. Yes, it may seem young, but you do not need to be able to read to have your eyesight examined!

Have more checks if you’re diabetic

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, and so if you have diabetes, you are most likely in need of having your eyesight examined every year.

Eat right for your sight

Did you know that what you eats can affect your eyesight? Getting the right amount of minerals and vitamins is essential for good visual health – we stock plenty of eye vitamins here. In addition to the vitamins,here are some foods that are good for your eyes:

  • Fish – salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, herring
  • Dark green leafy vegetables – spinach, kale, collards
  • Nuts – walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, peanuts,
  • Legumes
  • Citrus fruits – lemons, oranges, grapefruits
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beef
  • Seeds – chia, flax and hemp seeds
  • Eggs

Take eye vitamins

Topping up on the vitamins and minerals that are good for your eye health can be hard at times, but for days when your nutrients are low, eye vitamins are a handy top-up. Find them here.

Quit smoking

Smoking increases the chances of age-related macular degeneration, as well as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome. Quitting reduces the chances, although of course never smoking is ideal.

Lose weight

Being overweight and having a poor diet can actually make your eyesight worse. Age-related macular degeneration is more dangerous for those who are obese. You are also more at risk of diabetes if you’re obese, which is a leading cause of blindness.

Keep your eyes protected from the sun

Both UVA and UVB rays may increase the chances of getting age-related macular degeneration or cataracts. Yon avoid the damage from the sun by:

  • Wearing sunglasses that have a CE or British standard mark
  • Wearing sun lotion on your eyelids
  • Avoiding peak sun hours

Wearing the right protective eyewear

Thousands of injuries to the eyes per year are caused by not wearing protective eyewear. Flying debris and fine particles pose a risk to your eyes. However, balls from racquet sports, champagne corks and debris from gardening are also risky. Eye injuries can be avoided by wearing protective goggles.

Control your blood pressure

High blood pressure not only affects your heart, but can also affect your chances of developing glaucoma. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure can also increase your chances of developing diabetic retinopathy – a leading cause of blindness. Having a dilated eye examination can pick up on issues with your blood pressure.

Don’t ignore changes

Have you noticed that shapes are appearing in your vision? Are things look blurrier than they used to? Are you getting lots of migraines? Don’t ignore the signs have an eye examination straight away.

If you are worried about your eyesight, contact your local optician or optometrists straight away

To view our extensive range of low vision aids, click here

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