World Sight Day 2017

Eye Health

In conjunction with WORLD SIGHT DAY on October 12, Ipoh Echo talks to Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr S.S. GILL on Eye Care Tips.

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:


Good Nutrition: Your diet should be rich in green leafy vegetables and fruits that contain vitamins and 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 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.


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.


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, to filter 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.


Placing your computer screen at an ideal viewing angle of roughly 10 to 20 degrees below the eye level is important. Placing it too high can lead to dry irritated eyes as it forces you to concentrate and invariably blink less number of times per minute. Remember to practise the 20-20-20 rule of taking a break every 20 minutes, by looking away into the distance of 20m for at least 20 seconds.


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. It should be part of your annual medical examination and blood testing. It is recommended that all adults between 18 to 40 years get their eyes checked every 3 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.

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