Some eye conditions, particularly those that are common later in life, can be prevented. The best way to prevent these conditions is to:
Have regular eye tests
It’s important to have your eyes checked every 2 years. A large percentage of blindness and vision loss is preventable through early detection and treatment. Some sight-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma, have no symptoms and you could lose up to 40% of your sight before you notice a difference. An eye test could pick up these conditions and save your sight.
Did you know smoking can double the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of sight loss? In fact, the link is as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer.
Keep your eyes covered in the sun
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. UVA and UVB rays in sunlight can harm your eyes and may increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Eat healthily, exercise and watch your weight
Eating a diet low in saturated fats and rich in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli may help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. Oranges, kiwi fruit, nuts, seeds and oily fish may also help prevent and slow down some eye conditions.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight. Recent research suggests that obesity may put you more at risk of developing certain eye conditions including:
- Diabetic retinopathy – obesity increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Age-related macular degeneration – obesity may increase the risk of developing dry AMD. Dry AMD is likely to impede the ability to carry out daily activities such as driving, reading a newspaper or watching television. Obesity also increases the speed of progression of AMD
- Cataracts – overweight people can have double the risk of developing cataracts compared to people who are not overweight.
When working in construction or gardening always wear professional safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris and fine particles. Sport (especially racquet-based sport) also causes lots of eye related injuries each year. Investing in a good pair of protective sports goggles will help prevent serious damage to your eyes.