A regular eye examination is an important health check for everyone. You should have an eye examination every two years or as often as recommended by your optician, even if you don’t have any problems with your sight.
An eye examination can often detect the early signs of many eye and general health conditions before you become aware of any symptoms. This includes glaucoma, diabetes, raised blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
You are entitled to a NHS free eye examination if you are:
Over 60 years old
Registered severely sight impaired or sight impaired
A person with diabetes or glaucoma
Aged 40 or over and have a close relative with glaucoma
Considered to be at risk of glaucoma by an ophthalmologist
Under 16 or under 19 and still in full-time education
Needing a prescription classed as complex lenses
Receiving the following benefits: income support, income based job seekers allowance, pension credit guarantee or income-based employment & support allowance (or your partner is receiving them)
Entitled to, or named on, a valid tax credit exemption certificate or a HC2 certificate
There are restrictions on how often you can have a free eye examination. If you have more than the amount permitted you will be charged the private eye examination fee.
If you are housebound you may be entitled to an NHS-funded mobile sight test,
Tips for Healthy Vision
See well for a lifetime: here are some tips to maintain healthy vision as you age.
Aging is a process that brings many changes. Vision loss and blindness, however, do not have to be one of them. There are several simple steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy for the rest of your life.
Visiting an eye care professional regularly for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of vision loss as you age. Although your vision may seem fine, age-related eye diseases often have no symptoms
A comprehensive dilated eye exam is different from the basic eye exam or screening you have for glasses or contacts. By dilating the pupils and examining the back of the eyes, your eye care professional can detect eye diseases in their early stages, before vision loss occurs
Through a comprehensive dilated eye exam, your eye care professional can check for early signs of—
Age-related macular degeneration, which gradually destroys the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision.
Cataract, a clouding of the lens in the eye.
Diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that damages blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.
Glaucoma, a group of diseases that can cause fluid and pressure to build up in the eye and damage the optic nerve.
Early diagnosis and treatment are the best ways to prevent vision loss. If you have been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, work with your eye care professional to learn about your treatment options.
Healthy Living, Healthy Vision
Quitting smoking can have many good effects on your health. Avoiding smoking can also protect the health of your eyes. By quitting smoking, you can help to possibly reduce your risk of developing several different types of eye diseases.
Eat Healthy Foods
Lifelong good nutrition may lower your risk of some eye diseases. By eating a healthy, balanced diet, you will have a better chance of staying healthy and keeping your eyes healthy. A lifetime diet rich in certain dark green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, may reduce your risk of getting AMD.
Staying active is part of a healthy lifestyle that can improve your overall health. Exercising regularly can reduce your risk of developing problems that can lead to eye disease
Control Your Blood Pressure
Controlling your blood pressure is not just a good idea for your heart. It is also a good idea for protecting your eyesight. High blood pressure can increase your risk for glaucoma. It may also increase your risk for diabetic retinopathy if you have diabetes.
Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
You already know that you need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays when you are outdoors. But do you know that you also need to wear protective sunglasses to protect your eyes from those same UV rays
Proper contact lens care is vital for your eye health. The best way to avoid infection is to follow your eye doctor’s care instructions. The following are some suggestions your eye doctor will likely recommend.
Wash, rinse, and dry hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses.
Use soap that is free of oils, lotions, or perfumes.
Dry hands with a lint-free towel.
Use fingertips to handle contact lens (not fingernails and/or sharp objects like tweezers).
Check to ensure the contact lens is moist, clean, and damage free before attempting to insert in your eye. Never put a damaged contact lens in your eye.
How to care for contact lenses is dependent on the type of contact lenses and solution recommended by your eye care professional. In addition to these tips, be sure to follow your eye care professional’s directions and package insert instructions for a successful, comfortable contact lens experience. Contact lenses should be replaced according to the schedule provided by your eye care professional. Additionally, always remember to use fresh solution when caring for your contact lenses.
DO: Stick strictly to the wearing schedule prescribed by your eye care professional and replace your contact lenses as directed.
DON’T: “Stretch” your lens wear beyond its intended use. Never wear daily disposable lenses longer than one day. And never wear your lenses beyond what your eye care professional recommends.
DO: Clean, rinse, and disinfect your contact lenses with fresh solution each time you remove them. Always remember to use fresh solution. Do not add more solution on top of what’s already in the case.
DON’T: Use saliva, tap water, or anything other than fresh contact lens solutions for lubricating, rewetting, and/or cleaning your lenses.
DO: If your eyes become red, irritated, or your vision changes, remove your lenses immediately and consult your eye care professional.
DON’T: Let the tip of solution bottles touch other surfaces – including your fingers, eyes or contact lenses
AVOCADOS ARE GOOD FOR EYE HEALTH
The use of avocado is a growing trend in the culinary world just about everywhere. The fresh flavor of avocado can make any dish shine during the hot summer days! A common party treat is guacamole, which consists of mashed up avocado, diced onions, tomato, and varying mixtures of seasoning, this is paired typically with tortilla chips. Setting aside the obvious delicious flavor of avocado, it actually provides nutrients that promote good eye health!
The reason avocado is good for your eyes is the high amount of lutein that is found in it. A single ounce of avocado contains 80 micrograms of lutein—most lutein supplements only give you 10 mcg! So, what is lutein? And why should you care about adding it to your daily diet?
Lutein is a natural antioxidant that is said to help maintain eye health as you age. The American Optometric Associate claims that lutein is a carotenoid that filters harmful blue light—this helps to maintain healthy cells within your eye. Currently we know about 600 different carotenoids that exist in nature, and lutein is one of only two that benefit the retina of your eye. This means that lutein can help prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration. The human body does not synthesize the lutein it needs to help your eyes fight Macular Degeneration, and for this very reason it is a good idea to add some avocado to your diet!
Avocado is a versatile ingredient and can be added to many different types of dishes: salads, salsa, soup, and sandwiches are all easy targets for added avocado. The best part about making food is being creative! So have some fun with it and try some new things