October 13th is World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness that focuses global attention on eye disease, its prevention and treatment. Did you know that the majority of eye diseases are preventable with good eye care?
There is no doubt that the best way to prevent an eye disease such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration is to make regular visits to your optometrist.
#Snapforsight this World Sight Day
To raise awareness about the importance of regular eye tests and good eye health, Vision 2020 Australia has launched an exciting social media campaign called Snap for Sight. Here’s how it works: take your favourite snap and share it on facebook, instagram or twitter using the hash-tag #snapforsight. Your images, movie or audio clips will automatically be featured on the Snap for Sight website where you will find lots of great tips on taking good care of your eyes. Like our facebook page and upload your fave moment (don’t forget to tag it with #snapforsight) and we will support the campaign with a beautiful pair of the latest Bolle sunglasses for the best image posted. Happy snapping!
Top tips for healthy vision
At The Eye Practice, we treat people, not diseases. And prevention is better than cure, so read some of our best tips for eye health:
Have regular eye tests. If your eyes are healthy, a two-yearly eye examination is usually adequate to check for a range of eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular disease and cataract. If you are in a higher risk category for eye disease, due to age, family history, medical history etc, your optometrist can recommend an appropriate schedule for your eye examinations.
Eat your veggies! This is not just urban myth; large scale studies have clearly shown that a diet rich in coloured fruits and veg (and the antioxidants they contain) is exactly what your eyes need to protect them from the ravages of macular degeneration and other diseases.
Wear sunglasses: Age is the factor most closely related to cataract development and unfortunately we can’t do anything about it. But exposure to UV light is also a big culprit when it comes to cataract formation and it is easy to protect your eyes from UV light; just wear a pair of well-fitting sunglasses and a hat. Most of us are diligent in summer about sun protection, but are much slacker during winter months. But the more penetrating kind of UV light is just as strong in winter as summer and the lower angle of the sun may mean greater exposure to your eyes. Talk to your optometrist about a pair of sunglasses (or prescription sunglasses) suitable for year-round use.
Reduce digital screen time: In a digital age, it is not unusual to spend over 8 hours per day looking at computer screens. Apart from exposure to blue light (see below) prolonged use also causes eye strain and dry eyes. If you can’t cut down on screen time, try the 20-20-20 rule at work: Every 20 minutes, look into the distance for 20 seconds and blink 20 times.
Wear blue blockers: The latest generation of digital screens emit far more light from the blue-violet end of the spectrum than older technology. Recent findings show that this light can penetrate deep within the eyes and cause oxidative stress to your retina. To protect your eyes, choose a computer with a blue light filter (check out BenQ) and for all other modern devices, wear a pair of blue-blocker lenses when using a screen. These are available with and without prescription and look just like normal glasses.
Increase omega 3 intake: The standard western diet is low in omega 3 fatty acids and this has implications for a range of health conditions. Taking a fish oil supplement, or incorporating omega 3s into your diet in the form or oily fish, nuts or flax oil, is a great way to stave off eye disease.
Quit smoking: This is never easy, but it is well known that cigarette smoking is associated with a wide range of illnesses, including eye diseases. Talk to your GP about how you can cut down or cut out smoking and lead a healthier life.