National Eye Health Week kicks off today and we’re breaking down everything you need to know and do this week.
This year National Eye Health Week takes place between September 24th and September 30th. Under the banner ‘Your Vision Matters’ the importance of eye health is put front and centre.
What is it?
National Eye Health Week was created to bring awareness to the importance of good eye health. This week is supposed to encourage people to put their eyesight first and to take better care of their eyes.
How bad is bad?
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) estimates that there are over two million people in the UK living with sight loss. It’s been predicted that by 2020 this number will increase to 2.25 million, and that by 2050 there will be nearly 4 million people living with sight loss. However, RNIB also estimates that at least half of all sight loss is avoidable, which we’ll explain more of later.
Did you know?
According to Vision Matters, around 1.6 million school-aged children in the UK could have an undiagnosed vision problem. National Eye Health Week Chairman, David Cartwright notes that regular “sight tests […] are crucial”. This further highlights the importance of eye tests and all that National Eye Health Week is trying to accomplish.
What can I do?
With National Eye Health Week here, our attention is turned to ways in which we can get the most out of it. Vision Matters outlined simple steps and lifestyle changes you can take to ensure your vision is in tip-top shape.
- Smoking has been linked to the development of macular degeneration and as a major contributor to developing cataracts.
Having a balanced diet and eating right
- A balanced diet complete with a range of different foods has shown to help improve vision. Look to leafy greens, bright colours, oily fish and eggs.
Watching your weight
- Maintaining a healthy weight is important and being overweight can lead to health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
- Exercise helps promote blood circulation and can reduce the hardening of arteries, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Protecting your eyes from sunlight
- The sun emits harmful UV rays, so it’s important to protect your eyes with sunglasses even when it’s cloudy outside, as these rays travel through clouds.
Reducing screen time or wearing protective screen eyewear
- Screens emit blue light which can be harmful if you’re spending extended periods behind one. You should take short breaks between screen time or invest in special glasses.
Regular eye tests
- Experts recommend you test your eyes at least once every two years. Eye tests can help catch conditions before they become more serious. We wrote a whole post on this so check it out here. If you’re in need of an eye test, we’ve found some great deals.