Focus on eye health

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With the start of National Eye Health Week today (Monday) what could be a better time to check your vision?

A sight test every two years for adults can catch eye diseases and health problems before symptoms even show.

Regular eye tests for children can detect common childhood sight conditions such as strabismus (squint), amblyopia (lazy eye) and long and short sightedness. Early detection of these conditions can mean more effective treatment.

Specialist programme manager in public health at Lincolnshire County Council Ann Ellis said: “If there is a problem with your eyes, you might not know about it. They rarely hurt when something is wrong and you might not notice a small change to your vision.

“Children are never too young to have their eyes tested. Vision problems in children can make school difficult for them as it affects their ability to read, write and spell.

“National eye health week is a good reminder to take care of our eyes with regular check-ups for all the family.”

Top tips for looking after your eyes

Have your eyes checked every two years, especially if you are over 60, have diabetes or if there is a family history of eye disease

Protect your eyes with safety goggles or protective glasses when doing DIY

Exercising can help to lower your risk of sight loss by reducing the risk of high blood pressure or diabetes

Wear sunglasses and make sure they are meeting the British Standard to protect you from UVA and UVB rays

Eating healthily may help to lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Leafy greens, brightly coloured fruit and veg, eggs and oily fish are all recommended.

If you’re thinking of quitting smoking, your eye health might be another reason to make the choice. After ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing AMD.

Contact your local optician to book your sight test. You may be eligible for a free NHS sight test if you are under 16, over 60, have a family history of eye disease or are receiving certain benefits. For more information and tips on how to look after your eyes, visit http://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/residents/public-health/your-health-/eye-health/.