Our eyesight is the sense that people fear losing the most, however half of sight loss in the UK is avoidable.
This week is National Eye Health Week (NEHW), aiming to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests. Optometrists recommend that everyone has their eyes tested every two years, but changing your behaviour to ensure you look after your eyes all year round can help keep your eyes healthy.
At Moorfields, staff are promoting the core belief of the hospital's new strategy, ‘People’s sight matters’, and promoting seven simple facts that encourage everyday discussion and good practice around eye health.
- Have regular eye tests. Early detection is vital to prevent avoidable sight loss.
- Age-related macular degeneration involves damage to the macula and affects central vision.
- Glaucoma is an eye condition characterised by loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve.
- When using a computer for long periods of time, look 20 feet in front of you every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
- When buying sunglasses always look for the UV mark to ensure they will protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet, including plenty of fruit and vegetables, to help protect your sight.
- Smokers are up to four times more likely to develop macular degeneration.
There are currently over two million people in the UK living with sight loss, with the most common causes being age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. To book an eye appointment, contact your local GP or optician.
Organised by Eye Health UK, NEHW promotes a range of nationwide events and online resources supported by many high street opticians, educational bodies, trade associations and a host of dedicated eye charities. Find out what's going on.