By Dr S.S. Gill
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. It is unfortunate that of the 285 million people, almost 80% of them could have been avoided or prevented. In this second part in conjunction with World Sight Day, Dr Gill shares some tips for Eye Care.
1. EYE CHECK
If you are 40 years and above, you should get your eyes checked once a year. Getting the eyes checked for your glasses prescription is not enough. A full eye examination that includes a vision check, eye pressure testing and a full dilated pupil eye examination is required. Just like your annual medical examination and blood testing, the eye examination is equally important. It is recommended that all adults between 18 to 40 years get their eyes checked every three years, those 40 to 50 years should get an eye check every two years and those above 50 years should get an eye check annually.
2. LIVE HEALTHY
Good Nutrition: Your diet should be rich in green leafy vegetables and fruits that contain vitamins and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, along with meats like fish that are rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
Avoid Smoking: The effects of smoking should not be taken lightly as it accelerates cataract formation, macular degeneration and also nerve problems.
Medical Conditions: Keep all medical conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus and hypertension well controlled. These illnesses can have profound effects on the eyes.
Avoid Obesity: Keep your weight in check. Obese people are more prone for health as well as eye problems.
3. WEAR GOGGLES
Always wear a pair of protective of safety goggles whenever you do any chores around the home. This includes the wearing of goggles during gardening, while playing certain sports and while mowing the lawn. Remember, eye injuries cost a lifetime of problems to an individual and to their families too.
4. MINIMISE UV-LIGHT EXPOSURE
Wearing sunglasses that cut off ultraviolet light rays from the sun is a must. Look for a reasonably good pair of sunglasses that have the CE marking, and filters off UVA and UVB light rays from entering the eye. Sunglasses that are polarized are a bonus. Remember, as discussed in previous issues, ultraviolet radiation promotes cataract formation and macular degeneration.
5. USE ELECTRONIC DEVICES CORRECTLY
Placing your computer screen at an ideal viewing angle of roughly 10 to 20 degrees below the eye level is important because a screen placed too high can lead to dry irritated eyes as it forces us to constantly keep our eyes wide open and also invariably blink less. Remember to practise the 20-20-20 rule of taking a break every 20 minutes, by looking away into the distance of 20 metres for at least 20 seconds.