Your eyes are one of the most important organs of the body that light your world and enable you to handle your daily tasks. Have you ever pictured the challenges that visually impaired individuals go through every day of their lives?
It is hard to think how you can live without your eyes even for a day. Unfortunately, good eyesight is not a guarantee as majority of the people with low vision and blindness were not born with eye problems, but it only developed at some point in their lives. Therefore, protecting your eyesight is important to ensure a quality life. Eye problems can affect a person of any age though it is more common for the elderly (over 65 years), but caring for these vital organs can help you prevent vision related problems. This article will take you through some of the common eye problems and how you can avoid them.
Facts on Eye Problem that You Never Knew
- Around six million people are estimated to be living with sight-threatening eye conditions in the UK today. This is according to a research by UK National Screening Committee. However, not all of these people have low visions, but they are at a high risk of losing their sight in the future.
- Nearly 1.5 billion people in the world are vision impaired in some way. This number is based on tested cases, so it could be higher.
- 36 M people globally are total blind, more than 150 M people have mild vision problem while about 200 million people experience severe to moderate vision problems.
- Uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts are the leading causes of vision impairment in the world.
- 1 in every 6 adults aged above 45 have some sort of eye-threatening disorder or condition
- Approximately 70% of people living with vision impairment are adults aged over 50 years.
- About 80% of global vision impairment can be avoided or rectified if identified at an early stage
The above statistic clearly show then eye-related problems are common, but the best part is that you can prevent some of the issues with simple eye care practices.
Low Vision and Blindness: Who is at a Higher Risk?
Though research shows that vision problem risk increase with age, it can affect anyone at any age. Some environmental factors, poor lifestyle behaviours, and genes may increase the risk. Irrespective of your age, gender or location, you can be vulnerable and for this reason, you need to ensure that your eyes are fully protected. However, people with certain health conditions and aged over 50 years are at a higher risk of developing vision impairment. Unfortunately most of the eye related problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and trachoma do not have any warning signs. You can only reduce the risk by taking responsibility of your eyesight.
Common Causes of Vision Impairment and Blindness
Some of the common causes of vision problems are:
Uncorrected refractive errors
Age-related macular degeneration
Ways in Which Vision Loss or Impairment can Affect Your Well-Being
Eye-sight problems can affect your life and health in many ways including:
The fact that you cannot see clearly or totally is hard to accept and could lead to depression. According to NHS, about 60% of people living with vision impairment are more likely to have depression, while the possibility is below 40% for people with good eyesight.
Increase the risks of physical injuries
Poor eyesight has been a common cause of accidents leading to fractures, permanent physical disabilities, and death in some cases.
Decrease in productivity
If you lose your proper vision today, there are many tasks that you cannot carry out effectively, and in some cases you cannot walk on your own. This reduces your productivity and you become a burden to your family members.
Increase your expenses
Since you cannot carry out some of the common daily tasks such as walking, bathing and many others, you will probably need a caregiver which means more monthly expenses not to mention the medical expenses.
According to Belson Opticians, you can avoid all the above issues by taking the right precautions and preventive measures.
What can You do to Maintain Good Eyesight?
Protecting your vision may not take much of your effort or time. Most of this eye care tips are actually free of charge. If you want to enjoy quality life void of vision related challenges, here are some of the eye care practices to observe:
Regular Eye Check-up
The first eyesight care step is to have a comprehensive eye test to ensure that your eyes are in good health. You could be thinking that your vision is normal only because you don’t have any noticeable vision issue at the moment, but the only sure way to determine this is to have a qualified optometrist eye check-up. It is recommended that you have a comprehensive eye test at least once in every 24 months. This will also detect problems such as refractive error and glaucoma, diabetic and AMD related vision impairment at an early stage when they can be easily corrected or treated. You can consult Belson Opticians for routine eye inspection.
Enquire about your family eyesight issue history – Some of the eye problems are hereditary and finding out whether there are family members who have ever been diagnosed with such issues may help you determine your risk levels so as to take the necessary precautions.
Health Body for Healthy Eyesight
Observe Healthy diets
Adding some fruits and green vegetables such as collard greens, kale and spinach to your diet can help prevent AMD. Additionally, fish and foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can enhance your eyesight.
Watch your body weight
Related to proper diet is maintaining a healthy body weight, which is a major cause of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and eventually diabetes. These conditions are known to be major causes of vision impairment.
Stop and never start smoking
Smoking has been associated with various health conditions and eye problem is one of them. According to different studies, smokers are at a higher risk of developing a cataract, macular degeneration and damaging optic nerves which may result to vision impairment or total blindness.
Protecting Your Eye
Every day our eyes are exposed to objects that can cause injuries and other damages whether at work field or even at home. Most eye injuries result from small objects that accidentally get into the eyes. It could be chemicals, liquid cleaners, metallic object or any other foreign object that could harm the eye. For this reason, taking the right protective measures is very beneficial to your eyesight. These protective measures include:
- Using sun glasses – To block harmful sunrays from damaging the eye thus reducing the risk of developing cataracts, AMD and other vision complications. There are medical protective sunglasses, contact lenses and glasses equipped with UV-filtering features blocking them from getting into the eyes.
- Protective sport and working eye gears – If your work exposes your eyes to dangerous objects or substances such as chemicals, pieces of metal, stones and many others it is important to invest in protective eyewear such as goggles and safety classes to keep your eyes safe. If you are an athlete, these protective wears are necessary for your eyes too.
- Take periodic rest from your computer screen or TV – If you spend long hours in front of the computer screen, whether working or playing games you could be damaging your eyes. A good way to protect your eye health is to take short breaks and focus on something different to prevent straining the eyes. Additionally, you need to maintain the right screen angle to avoid eye damage.
- Maintain high eye hygiene – Rubbing your eyes or handling your contact lenses with dirty hands can introduce germs and bacteria into the eye, developing eye infections. It is therefore a good practice to wash your hands thorough when putting on contact lenses or rubbing the eyes.
- Other safety measures – If you accidentally splash chemical products or detergents into your eyes Belson Opticians recommend rinsing the eye with clean cold water to get rid of the chemical and see your doctor as soon as possible. Though it can be tempting to rub the eyes, resist from such urge to avoid spreading the substance in the eye.
In a nutshell, maintaining good eyesight is entirely your responsibility: “Belson Opticians” as one of the best Opticians in Essex, suggests you to follow these simple practices to maintain your eyesight clear.
- Regular visits to your optician for eye examination.
- Eat healthy diets with leaf greens and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avoiding smoking.
- Wear protective glasses to prevent UV damage or entry of foreign substances which can damage your eyes.
- Regular breaks during work including blinking can go a long way in improving your eyesight.
- In case of accidental chemical or liquid detergent splash, rinse the eye with clean water and see a medical expert for further assistance.
If you can observe the above simple practices you have chances of maintaining healthy eyesight even at 60 and beyond.