Eye examinations don't just pick up eye problems but changes in general health like high blood pressure and diabetes as well. Some conditions such as glaucoma don't create symptoms so vision could be lost without realising it. It's recommended that you have an eye examination at least every two years.
It is a myth that wearing spectacles and contact lenses makes your eyes weaker and your eyesight worse. Eye and vision problems develop or increase with age whether wearing spectacles or not. Corrective lenses will only help your eyes work more efficiently, improve vision and relax your eyes.
If you smoke, STOP! Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing cataract and Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). However long you have smoked it’s never too late to benefit from quitting to reduce the risks.
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet; obesity is a risk factor for Diabetes and ARMD, both of which will have a marked effect on your vision.
Consider nutritional supplements particularly with a family history of ARMD. Some are specifically designed for eye health such as iCaps, Visionace and MacuShield, we sell them in our practices as well as pharmacies, and health shops. Flaxseed and evening primrose oil may also help dry eye sufferers.
Ultraviolet (UV) is a risk factor for cataract and ARMD. Exposure when young does most harm, so protect children with sunglasses as well as a hat and sun block. Always wear CE marked sunglasses to ensure good UV protection. UV absorbing lenses can also be added to your everyday glasses.
When tears reduce in volume or quality eyes become dry and sore. Central heating, air conditioning and computer use, can make it worse. Around 15% of adults over the age of 40 suffer with dry eye, twice as many women as men. Lubricating eye drops such as Systane can soothe irritation and reduce discomfort.
Some eye conditions show an increased likelihood of occurring in families, from simple long and short sight to more serious conditions like glaucoma. The Optometrist will always ask about family history so it’s useful to have this information to hand.
Managing workplace tasks, particularly close focussing on computers, smartphones and tablets, is important. Eye muscles will fatigue which can cause tiredness and headaches. Let your eyes relax every hour or so; look into the distance across the office or out of a window.
The sudden onset of symptoms like blurred vision, flashing lights, visual disturbance or eye pain indicate a problem which needs checking. Most eye problems detected early won't cause loss of vision. So contact the Optometrist for advice as soon as possible.