Avoidable Sight Loss
Many causes of sight loss are linked to people's general health and as a result a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of losing your sight later in life.
Whilst SRSB mainly concentrates on supporting people to adjust to sight loss we also want to promote the ways that people can reduce the risk of losing their sight.
The main things which everybody can do to minimise the chances of sight loss are as follows: -
Regular Eye Tests
Having a sight test won’t only tell you if you need new glasses or a change of prescription, it’s also a vital health check. It can pick up many general health problems and early signs of eye conditions before you are aware of any symptoms – many of which can be treated if found early enough. Unless otherwise advised by your Optometrist (optician), you should have a sight test every two years but you should visit your optician at any time if you are concerned with any aspect of your vision. To find an optician near you follow this link.
If you are unable to leave home unaccompanied due to a physical or mental illness or disability you may be able to have a sight test at home (also known as a domiciliary sight test). This service is also available on the NHS for those who are eligible for a free NHS sight test.
Smokers are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts than non-smokers.
Regular exercise can help with eye health because it ensures your eyes get a good supply of oxygen.
Eat healthily and don’t drink too much alcohol.
Protect your eyes from the sun – never look directly into the sun and always wear good quality sunglasses (they should always carry the ‘CE’ quality mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005).
What symptoms do I need to look out for in my children?
Tell tale signs include sitting close to the TV, holding objects very close to their face, blinking a lot, eye rubbing or one eye turning either in or out. You don’t have to be able to read to have a sight test. If you have any concerns please consult your GP or an optician - Please do not delay.
The above advice is reproduced here courtesy of Vision Matters. A more detailed information leaflet can be downloaded here.