How to Look After Your Eyes
The number of people of people living with sight loss in the West Midlands is likely to increase by more than 10,000 in the next 10 years.
Across the Black Country and Birmingham it has been estimated by RNIB there were around 63,030 people living with some degree of sight loss that affects their daily life in 2015.
By 2025 that figure is estimated to jump to 75,100 due to issues such as the increase in diabetes cases which can lead to sight loss and the fact that we are all living longer.
However many of these cases can be prevented if caught early. So follow our top tips on how to look after your eyes:
The most common eye conditions include age related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cateracts, and glaucoma. Almost 50 per cent of eye problems can be treated successfully if caught early. For many eye conditions, once the sight is gone it is not recoverable, so make sure you get your eyes tested at least every two years.
Some of the top things you can eat to improve eye health include: kale, spinach, blackberries, bananas and hazelnuts.
Stop smoking and take regular exercise.
Smoking can double the risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration. To find out about how to quit visit your doctor or local pharmacy. Exercise can also reduce the risk of obesity which can lead to conditions such as diabetes which in turn can lead to sight loss.
Protect your eyes in the sun
Wearing sunglasses, glasses or contact lenses with built in UV filters will protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays which can increase the risk of developing conditions such as cataracts.
If you regularly use a computer or smart phone you can also follow our top tips to help protect your eyes.
- Take breaks away from the screen. It helps rest your eyes and reduce eye strain and if possible avoid looking at phones or tablet screens for a couple of evenings a week.
- Use 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away (six metres) for 20 seconds to give your eye muscles a break and help increase the rate of blinking.
- Check your lighting. Bright light can cause eye strain, so avoid lights directly behind your screen that will reflect on the display.
- Positioning. Make sure your monitor is 18-24 inches away and positioned slightly below eye level, so you aren’t looking up at your screen.
- Text size. If you are struggling to read, make the font size larger, you can also adjust your computer so you can have different contracts and colours to suit your needs, not just black print on a white background.