The 7th National Eye Health Week takes place 24 – 30 September to remind us all how important it is to look after our eyes!
One in five people in the UK will experience sight loss during their lifetime. Yet at least half of all sight loss is avoidable!
A regular eye test is a vital health check for all – young, old and everyone in between. It not only determines the efficiency of your vision (whether you need or would benefit from corrective glasses) but reveals whether your eyes are healthy.
In addition, it can reveal other health issues you may, or may not be aware of, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
It should be done (at a high street optician) every two years, or less if you have a diagnosed eye condition which requires closer monitoring.
However research shows that..
…we Brits are better at checking our teeth than checking our eyes! 42% of us visit the dentist every
six months while 25% of UK adults haven’t had an eye test in two years – if at all!
How many of us think to get our children’s eyes regularly tested? With a distinct lack of testing through school, and the increasing national angst over the amount of time children spend glued to their phone and tablet screens, shouldn’t this be a priority? Don’t wait until your child displays signs of difficulty. Be proactive.
For older people and those with disabilities, getting out for an eye test may be physically challenging. Some people also view sight loss as just part of getting old and, wrongly, dismiss the need for an eye test.
Sight tests done in a person’s own home can be an answer. These are offered by companies specialising in domiciliary testing and by some local opticians. Staff in care homes, relatives, carers, health and social care professionals should all be vigilant and ensure that elderly or vulnerable people in their care have access to testing.
And in between times, we can all care for our eyes by
- Not smoking
- Eating healthily
- Wearing sunglasses in bright sunlight
- Using protective eye shields for DIY or gardening tasks etc..
- Ensuring good levels of Lighting