Eye Health for Life

Eye Health for Life

From 21 September to 18 October each year South Africa sets it focus on Eye Care Awareness Month. The initiative is an important reminder that every day, you can take simple steps to keep your eyes healthy.

If your eyes feel healthy, it's easy to assume they are healthy. But many eye diseases don't have any warning signs, so you could be unaware of any eye problems unless you have your eyes tested.

The good news is, there's a lot you can do to set yourself up for a lifetime of seeing well!  Follow our 7-point guide to ensure your eyes stay healthy and your risk of developing an eye condition is reduced or detected as soon as possible:


1. Get a comprehensive eye test

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Seventy-five percent of all cases of blindness are avoidable either through prevention or through treatment of your eyes. Eye examinations ensure your eyes stay healthy and that any abnormalities which could lead to an eye disease are detected early enough for intervention.

It is recommended that everyone should have their eyes tested at least once every two years - even if there is no change in your vision.

Getting treatment early can help save your eyesight from conditions such as cataracts, cloudy vision, and floaters. Diabetes or high blood pressure can also increase your risk of some eye diseases. For example, people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy — an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness.


2. Reduce smoking

Smoking increases your risk of diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts — and it can harm the optic nerve of your eyes.  Try to reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke in a day or stop all together. There is help available, but the choice starts with you.


3. Live healthier

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Eating healthy and following a diet low in saturated fats but rich in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli will help keep you and your eyes healthy. Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon & tuna are also good for the health of your eyes. Additionally, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, obesity can increase the risk of developing diabetes, which in turn can cause sight loss.


4.  Apply the 20-20-20 rule

If you find yourself in front of a computer all day it is important to take regular eye breaks.  The 20-20-20 rule is for every 20 minutes spent using a screen; you should try to look away at something that is 2 meters away from you for a total of 20 seconds.  This will allow your eyes to completely relax and at the same time remind you to stop and take a hydration break.  There are lots of apps you can download to help you remember to apply the rule every 20 minutes.


5.  Wear UV Sunglasses  

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Dangerous ultraviolet light (UV) can cause damage to your eyes causing problems such as cataracts, degeneration of the retina and, in some cases even skin cancer around the eyes. To protect your eyes, you should always wear quality sunglasses that offer good protection when you are doing anything in the sun.  In order to provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should have a 99 % to 100 % filter of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.


6. Get active. 

Being physically active helps you stay healthy. It can also lower your risk of health conditions that can cause eye health or vision problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


7. Know your family’s health history. 

Some eye diseases and conditions run in families such as age-related macular degeneration (an eye disease that causes vision loss in the centre of the field of vision) or glaucoma (which is caused when pressure builds up inside the eye, damaging the optic nerve).

Interestingly, most people don’t realise that having your eyes examined regularly could save you from serious illness.  Eyes are sensitive indicators for conditions such as high blood pressure, hypertension, and excess cholesterol.  Furthermore, a full eye examination is important in the detection and control of diabetes, as one of the first signs of this disease is erratic vision and a change in prescription.

Celebrate Eye Care Awareness month by getting your eyes tested at your nearest Spec-Savers click here to make an appointment https://www.specsavers.co.za/book-an-eye-test

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