||Have regular eye tests. Eye tests don’t just pick up eye problems but also general health problems such as Diabetes and high blood pressure as well. Some potentially blinding problems such as Glaucoma don’t cause symptoms so vision could be lost without you realising. You should have an eye test at least every two years, annually if you have a family history of eye problems.
||Eat healthily. Maintain a healthy diet and weight; obesity is a risk factor for ARMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) (the biggest cause of blindness in the UK). A diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A and C reduces your risk of cataract and AMD. Omega 3, found in oily fish, is also essential for eye health. We recommend eye-vitamins, such as Macushield30, 90, 180, 360 packs.
||Nutritional supplements. If your diet is not as good as it should be, or you have a family history of AMD, you should consider taking a supplement. Some such as Macushield are specifically designed for eye health and are available from eyebuddy. For other general supplements you can visit your pharmacist or health store.
||Stop smoking. Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing cataract and age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and smokers are up to 8 times more likely to go blind in old age than non-smokers. However long you’ve smoked it is never too late to benefit from giving up and reducing your risk.
||Wear Sunglasses. 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-cream. Always wear sunglasses marked BS EN 1836 and purchase them from reputable dealer to ensure good UV protection.
||Avoid Dry Eyes. With reduced tears 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; twice as many women as men. Lubricating eye drops such as Clinitas or Aquify can soothe irritation and reduce discomfort.
||Research your family history. Many eye conditions run in families, from simple long and short sight to more serious conditions such as glaucoma. Knowledge of "problems” with sight can help detect a problem before it becomes serious.
||Wear prescribed spectacles. Contrary to popular belief glasses don’t damage your eyesight. Many eye and vision problems develop as we get older. Corrective lenses will help the eyes work more efficiently, reduce eye strain and certainly won’t damage your eyes. In fact in young children the reverse is true – failure to wear prescribed spectacles under the age of 8 can lead to the eyes failing to develop fully and may lead to one or both eyes having permanently poor vision – a ”lazy eye”.
||Take regular breaks. Managing workplace tasks, particularly close focussing is important. Your eye muscles work very hard and like any muscles can become tired leading to eyestrain and headaches even in those with "normal” sight. Let your eyes relax every hour or so by looking across the office or out of a window. If you suffer from undue eyestrain or headaches while at work it is worth having your eyes tested – if you habitually use a computer your employer should pay for this.
||Better safe than sorry. Your eyesight is precious and any sudden onset of symptoms should be taken seriously. Blurred vision, flashing lights, floaters or eye pain might indicate a problem that needs urgent attention. Most eye problems can be treated if detected early enough so vision isn’t lost unnecessarily so do not delay in seeing your optician or ophthalmic accident and emergency.