North East London and Will Adams NHS Treatment Centres are celebrating National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week takes place from 23rd to 29th September, promoting the importance of good eye health and the need to get regular eye tests.

Did you know two million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives. Half of this sight loss is avoidable. Getting regular eye tests can help detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma which can be treated if found soon.

Teresa Anthony, one of our Bristol-based ophthalmology consultants is advising people to take better care of their eyes with a few simple changes to their lifestyle:

  1. Stop smoking – studies have shown smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration(AMD), cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Community pharmacists and GP surgeries will be able to give advice on how to quit and make it stick;
  2. Wear sunglasses – sun damage can lead to clouding of the lenses known as cataracts. Buy a pair that gives 100% ultraviolet protection.  If you wear glasses, consider reactive lenses that change with the light;
  3. Get regular eye examinations – check-ups with your high street optician can reveal not only the need for a new glasses prescription but also problems such as glaucoma and wet AMD, both of which benefit from rapid treatment after diagnosis;
  4. Get friendly with fish – oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, contain omega 3, which provides structural support to cell membranes and may be beneficial for dry eyes. Research has shown that eating just one portion of fish a week may reduce the risk of developing sight-stealing AMD;
  5. Eat a rainbow diet – different coloured fruit and vegetables contain different anti-oxidants that help the body to fight disease and inflammation. The bright colours in foods, such as blueberries, spinach, peas and papayas, can fight free radicals and play a part in combating the damage caused by sun exposure;
  6. Go to work on an egg – they are packed full of eye-health nutrients, including sulphur, which may protect the lens from cataracts. Try teaming it with wholemeal toast, as wholegrains also contribute to eye health.
  7. The eye and computers—a] frequent blinking stops the eyes from feeling tired and gritty from inadequate wetting of the eye. b] attach an anti-glare screen to the front of the monitor

Find out more about National Eye Health Week here: www.visionmatters.org.uk