September 7th 2021

National Eye Health Week 2021

Taking place between 21-25 September, National Eye Health Week is an annual event which seeks to promote the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all.

Organised by Vision Matters and partnered by leading regulatory bodies, the week encourages people from every walk of life to take better care of their eyes and have regular sight tests. Did you know that:

  • 2 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
  • A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough
  • During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.
  • For healthy eyes, eat well, don’t smoke and wear eye protection in bright sunlight.

The importance of regular eye tests cannot be understated. Ensuring that you have regular check-ups can help maintain your vision and detect any causes for concern which, when caught early, can be addressed.

However, it is not just regular eye tests that can help you maintain healthy eyesight, lifestyle factors can have a huge impact and there are many things that we can all do to help our eyes.

Studies show that what we eat can affect our vision. Antioxidants can help to prevent retinal damage. One antioxidant which is hugely beneficial is lutein. Foods recommended for eye health include:

  • Broad leaf greens such as kale and spinach
  • Brightly coloured fruit and vegetables such as corn, carrots, orange sweet peppers and oranges
  • Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel
  • Broccoli
  • Eggs.

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol is also a factor in ensuring that your eyes and eyesight are as healthy as can be. Likewise, smoking has a detrimental effect and, after ageing, the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration and also increases your risk of developing cataract

Exercise is a key factor within eye health and a lack of exercise contributes significantly to several eye conditions, particularly amongst people aged 60 and over. Exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.

The OCCS would like to wish all involved with National Eye Health Week 2021 a successful campaign. For more information and to find out what you can do to raise awareness, visit www.visionmatters.org.uk.

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