Steps to keep your eyes healthy

Eye check-up

We don’t need to tell you how important it is to look after your eyes. 

Doing the following can help you to keep your eyes healthy. 

• Have your eyes checked every two years, or every year if you’re over 70? This means that changes in your vision can be corrected and problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be picked up early – before they significantly affect your sight. NHS sight checks are free if you are 60 or over (except in Scotland where everyone is eligible for a free sight check, regardless of age). You may be able to get help with the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you are on a low income.

• Protect your eyes from the sun, particularly if you are near water or snow – they can be damaged by UV rays. Always wear sunglasses on a sunny day. Choose sunglasses that protect you from 99 to 100 percent of UV light. This includes those labeled UV400 or with a CE mark.

• Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of developing AMD and cataracts.

• Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

• If you use a computer, adjust the settings to make the screen as easy to view as possible. For example, increase the size of the text and change the brightness or color palettes. 

Even with the right glasses, you may still find it hard to see things clearly. Day-to-day tasks can be made easier by good lighting and use of low-vision aids or other equipment. If sight problems affect your ability to carry out everyday tasks safely, ask your local social services department what equipment and services they can offer. 

If you care for someone who is unable to recognize or communicate sight problems, for example, someone with dementia, remember to arrange for regular eye tests – you can ask the optician about using special non-verbal tests. Encourage the person to wear glasses if they need them. 

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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