We all know our vision is important and that means looking after our eye health should be a top priority.
But did you know one in five people say that their eyesight deteriorated during lockdown*?
While some habits – such as increased screen time – have stuck over the last 18 months, there are plenty things people can do to help support their eye health going forward.
To mark National Eye Health Week (20-26th September) here are four simple tips that can help protect your vision and keep your eyes in top condition.
1. Book Regular Exams
It may seem like obvious advicebut attending regular check-ups with your optician should be your first port of call when it comes to looking after your eyes.
Worryingly, looking at recent research conductedby Optos,we learned that a quarter of adults in the UK have not had an eye exam in the past three years, and a whopping 3.2 million have still never attended an appointment at all.
Many eye diseases, including detached retinas and glaucoma, can be preventedor treated more successfully if detected early. Therefore, booking a regular eye exam can give you the best chance of catching any potential issues and maintaining your eye health.
2. Invest in Advanced Imaging
In the UK, there are currently more than one million people living with sight loss that could have been avoided. While booking in to get your eyes tested regularly is the first step to caring for your vision, advanced imaging technology can also help your optician get a clearer picture of your eyes.
Most eye diseases can only be detected by looking at the retina – the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye. A basic eye exam is designed to test your vision butonly shows 15% of the retina.With advanced imaging, such as optomap®, more than 82% of your retina is visible to your optician.
By opting for advanced retinal imaging technology, you will be giving yourself peace of mind that problems, such as retinal detachments and tears, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, will be detected early.
You can ask your optician about optomap and its benefits when booking in your next eye test.
3. Get Moving
We all know exercise is good for us, but did you know thatit can also have a positive impact on your eye health?
Whether it’s swimming, running or yoga, regular movement can help prevent eye diseases.In particular, cardiovascular exercises that get your heart pumping can lower the pressure in your eyes, while increasing the flow of blood to the optic nerve and retina.
Vision problems can stem from issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so being active could alsobenefit those who suffer from these conditions.The NHS recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise to keep your body fit and healthy.
4. Adopt the 20-20-20 Approach
The last 18 months have seen us rely on screens more than ever before. From Zoom calls to more time spent in front of the television, screen use is having a big impact on our eyes.
On average UK adults spent half a day in front of a screen, browsing the internet and watching television*.
Extended time in front of devices can cause common eye issues including dryness, itchiness, and strain.The easiest way to prevent and reduce the likelihood of these problems is to introduce the 20-20-20 rule. This means for every 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds and focus on something 20 metres away.
After two hours of continuous screen time take a 15-minute rest. Make sure you also stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water during your breaks.
Set a timer and try for yourself!
Taking simple steps can help protect your eyes and maintain your vision. To find out more about your eye health and the benefits of optomap, speak with your optician today or visit www.optos.com.