As someone who has poor eyesight and who has been told off on numerous occasions by my optician about how I should be looking after my eyes, I could certainly not live without my contact lenses. They have changed my life drastically but only recently did I realize that I was causing my eyes more damage by not following the guidelines for contact wearers. I am the person who wears them longer than recommended, the person that has often fallen asleep in them, worn them while swimming, the list goes on. It wasn’t until my recent visit to the optician that I left feeling somewhat petrified. Even though my eyes were thankfully healthy, my optician was concerned with how little care I had when it came to having regular contact lens checks, which are recommended every year.
These days glasses have become a fashion accessory. Frames are stylish, and many high-end fashion designers are on board with this new fashion statement, plus they keep our eyes healthy, in which case I have decided to put together a few facts on the importance of looking after our eyes…
Why are regular sight checks crucial to your eye health?
Your optometrist is the eye expert, similar to your GP being your health expert. Your optometrist will know how you can see best and what to do if you have eye-related health issues.
Many of us live with poor vision, or worse, do nothing about it and fail to attend regular check-ups, which should be taken every two years, dependent on age, family and medical history.
The eye test is important for two reasons, the first being that your vision can be corrected which will only improve the quality of your day to day life. Secondly, eye checks help to detect conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration which can lead to sight loss if not caught early. Your optometrist will also check for signs of any underlying health conditions, with symptoms affecting the eyes including diabetes and high blood pressure.
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We will all suffer with our eyesight as we get older. It is only normal that our eyes change just as our bodies do too. Changes that can incur in the eyes include losing the ability to focus on things close up, adaption to lighting conditions and finding that we need more light for visibility.
Computers & Screens
Research shows that most of us spend 50 hours a week staring at a computer screen which only makes us suffer from tired eyes, headaches and blurred vision. This is why it is so crucial to take regular breaks away from your screen and attend examinations.
To prevent your eyes getting damaged from your screen make sure you wear your glasses if required for screens. Blink regularly when focussing to avoid dry and uncomfortable eyes and why not try the 20-20-20 rule where every 20 minutes you look 20 feet away (6 Meters) for 20 seconds to give eye muscles a break.
Driving & Vision
Driving and your vision all comes down to common sense. If you can’t see, you are breaking the law. Legally you need to be able to read road signs in good daylight with the glasses or contact lenses that you wear. You also need to be able to read a number plate with letters and numbers that are 97.4mm high, and that can be read with a distance of 20m.
Driving with bad vision is a punishable offense, and you could be left with a hefty fine, penalty license points or even a driving disqualification.
When driving you should always wear a pair of recently checked glasses or contact lenses, while keeping a spare pair in your vehicle for emergencies. It is also essential to make sure you never wear tinted glasses at night and if possible opt for an anti-reflection lens on your glasses to stop the glare from headlights and street lights. Finally, always keep your windscreen clean on the inside and out.