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.
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 and reviews 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
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