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Eye care

Taking care of your eyes can be a daunting proposition, and it’s important that you take the time to do it properly. These basic tips will get you on your way to protecting your vision.

Have regular eye check-ups

Regular eye check-ups are recommended for people without eye diseases or specific risk factors. Examinations with a registered eye care practitioner (optometrist or ophthalmologist) are recommended every second year. Follow your eye specialist’s advice and attend all follow up appointments.

It’s really important to follow your eye specialist’s advice and treatment when you have been diagnosed with an eye condition because it can save your eye sight and prevent further vision loss. It’s also really important to wear recommended glasses to ensure your vision is at its best. This is especially true for young children because correct glasses (including any patching) can have a life-long impact on their vision development.

See an eye care practitioner, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist today to ensure you and your family have good eye health, especially if there is an hereditary eye condition and so that you are wearing the correct glasses to see clearly.

Protect your eyes from UV light

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is known to contribute to eye diseases including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. So protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses with good UV protection and a hat to reduce UV exposure. Most prescription spectacle lenses have good UV protection. Speak to your optometrist about whether additional UV protection is required for you.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Diets high in anti-oxidants (such as from green leafy vegetables), Omega 3 fatty acids (such as from fish, linseeds), various vitamins (including Vitamins E and C) and minerals (including Zinc and Selenium) can help prevent or slow progression of macular degeneration in some people. Good eating habits combined with exercise help prevent diabetes, which is a significant cause of vision loss in Australia. Don’t smoke. Smoking has been linked to macular degeneration and is also a cause of cardiovascular disease, which may affect the eyes and vision.

Protect your eyes from hazards

Protect your eyes with safety glasses when working outside if there is a risk of eye injury (such as when lawn mowing) and at work. Sixty per cent of eye injuries happen at work and most incidents are preventable. Follow directions to lower shields on machinery and wear safety glasses.

Arrange eye examinations for family and friends at risk

Children are often unaware or unable to express the fact that their vision is blurry. Sixty per cent of children identified as ‘problem learners’ are challenged by ‘poor vision’. Studies show that over 60 per cent of people with ‘poor vision’ only need glasses to improve both their vision and quality of life. There is also a link between poor vision and falls among older Australians. Content prepared by Mae Chong, Lead Optometrist Low Vision Services, Australian College of Optometry and Virginia McDonald, Clinical Development Lead-Orthoptist, Vision Australia.