All about eye health for National Eye Health Week

A bi-annual routine sight test should be on everyone’s health agenda, regardless of age or health issues. A routine sight test can detect early signs of conditions such as cataracts, or glaucoma, which can be treated if found early.

The eye is the only part of the body where blood vessels can be seen without breaking the skin. This allows your Eye Care Practitioner (ECP) to detect other conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or even mini strokes.

The optic nerve on your retina is a direct link to your brain, and again would only be viewed routinely, during a sight test. The issues that can be seen on the optic nerve are often visible to the ECP before the patient experiences symptoms.

With the world becoming increasingly digital, we spend huge amounts of time on devices, such as laptops, phones, and tablets. Eye strain, dry eyes and headaches are common symptoms of overuse or incorrect vision correction. Again, a sight test can assess your distance, reading and computer vision requirements, and prescription spectacles or contact lenses may well alleviate some of these symptoms.

A sight test is painless, comprehensive and can really be a ‘window’ into your general health. Occasionally serious issues (such as visual field loss) that cause no initial symptoms can be detected early and treatment started before this progresses to a serious level.

Your ECP has access to a multitude of devices and tests, to screen for such issues as peripheral or central vision loss, colour deficiency, dry eye disease or even just aging eyes!

2 million people in the UK live with sight loss, that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable.

For healthy eyes, attend your routine eye test every 2 years, don’t ignore visual or eye comfort issues, eat well, don’t smoke and wear eye protection in bright sunlight.

All of the above combined will make sure that you look after your eyes and sight as well as you can.

Written by Rob Nicol – CL Optician and Eyoto Product Expert