Eye see you!

For many, eye sight is the most valuable of our five senses, but also the one most vulnerable to infection, accidents and degeneration. You can reduce your risk by following these easy lifestyle tips: -

Regular eye tests: Regular eye tests can identify any problems early on, and ensure that treatment will prevent worsening of the condition . Many common eye diseases, like diabetic eye disease and glaucoma, are not symptomatic in the initial stages but can be identified by a professional at a screening appointment. Experts recommend that eye tests are conducted every 2 years. The optician will also ask about family history to ascertain whether there is a hereditary eye condition among close relatives.

Smoking: Smoking is very bad for your eyesight. Smokers are twice as likely to develop AMD (age-related macular degeneration), one of the world's leading causes of sight loss. Smoking also increases the risk of cataracts and the severity of diabetes related sight problems.

Diet: Carrots may not actually help us to see in the dark, but anti-oxidants in some foods are thought to prevent retinal damage. These foods include:

  • broad leaf greens like kale and spinach

  • brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, like peppers and oranges

  • broccoli

  • eggs

Omega 3 fish oils are thought to maintain healthy blood vessels in the eye and researchers believe that eating one portion of fish a week, like salmon or tuna, could reduce the risk of developing AMD.

Exercise: Fitness and exercise are thought to improve the flow of blood to the vessels in the eye, and also reduce the risk of high blood pressure and narrowing of the arteries. Maintaining a healthy weight will also reduce the chances of getting diabetes, which is linked to eye disease and degeneration.

Sunglasses: Long-term exposure to ultra-violet rays from the sun can increasing your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. Experts recommend wearing sunglasses which filter out 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

Eye care in the workplace

Workers should operate in a safe environment and use proper safety protection such as adequate goggles or safety glasses.

Workplace hazards include chemicals in various forms which may splash or be rubbed into the eye. Dust particles and splinters from metal or wood are physical dangers to eyes in industries like toolmaking or carpentry. Infections spread by eye exposure can also be a danger to care workers, laboratory staff and animal handlers and diseases can be transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eye either by direct contact or from touching the eye with contaminated fingers.

Staring at a computer screen can cause dry irritated eyes, blurred vision and headaches. Taking regular breaks is widely recommended.

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