This week is National Eye Health week, a campaign that runs every September to raise awareness of the importance of good eye health and regular eye examinations.

Unfortunately, 2 million people in the UK are living with sight loss, half of which is avoidable.

Many people think an eye examination is just about checking whether you require vision correction with glasses and contact lenses, however there are much more important reasons as to why you should attend a regular eye exam.

An eye examination is key for assessing the health of your eye and can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy in their earliest stages, all of which can lead to sight loss if left undetected and untreated. Most people will be recommended to see an optometrist at least once every two years, however there are certain groups of people who will need an eye exam more frequently. These include children under 16, diabetics, 40-year-olds who have a direct relative with glaucoma, and anyone the optometrist feels should be seen more frequently.

Our Optometrists use state-of-the-art technology to assess the health of your eyes at your eye examinations. The OCT and Optomap take images and scans of the retina, macular and optic nerve providing an incredibly detailed insight into the health of your eyes. It is with these images that our optometrists can detect eye conditions in their earliest stages allowing for early diagnosis and treatment, which can prevent or slow down the progression of sight loss. The data is saved to your record and used as a comparison at your next eye exam to monitor the health of your eyes and detect any changes.

Alongside attending your regular eye examinations, there are other ways that you can look after your eyes day to day.

These include:

  • Being aware of any changes to your vision or eye health. If you do notice anything different, it is important to contact your local opticians.
  • Eating a balanced diet will benefit your eye health. There are lots of fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients and vitamins that will boost your eye health and assist in preventing the progression of common eye conditions.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight is key to protecting your eye health. Obesity is commonly linked to diabetes and increased blood pressure which can affect your eye health.
  • Regular exercise has been linked to maintaining your eye health. Aerobic exercise helps to increase the oxygen supply to the optic nerve and lower any pressure built up in the eye.
  • Quitting smoking will benefit your eye health in many ways. The toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the surface and internal structure of the eye. This can also lead to an increased risk of eye conditions including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye, and poor colour vision.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend looking at digital devices. Use the 20-20-20 rule to take regular breaks away from screens to reduce eye strain, headaches, and tired eyes.
  • Protect your eyes when doing DIY. 30,000 eye injuries are caused by DIY accidents every year. Using the right eye protection can reduce accidents such as flying debris, liquid and more.
  • Throw away old make up. Out of date make up can cause eye infections due to a build up of bacteria. Once your make up has been opened for the recommended amount of time, it is important to dispose of them.

Contact your local Bush Opticians for more information about your eye health, eye examinations and more.

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