E Periodic eye examinations should be performed at least every two years as an optometrist can detect early signs of eye condition long before you notice changes in your vision. People over the age of 40 or with family ailments like glaucoma or diabetes should have an eye test each year. Opticians can also detect conditions such as high blood pressure. Smoking is a major eye health risk: According to research, smokers are up to four times more likely to develop non-smoker age-related macular degeneration that gradually affects central vision. Smoking in diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, where elevated blood sugar levels can damage the retina and lead to blindness.
Ultraviolet light also damages the eyes, and some studies suggest that UVA and UVB rays may increase the risk of cataracts. Wear glasses or contact lenses with built-in UV filters or sunglasses to protect the eyes from the sun.
A healthy, well-balanced diet has long-term positive effects on the health of the eyes, especially on fresh fruits and vegetables. It is important to combine this with regular exercise because some eye diseases are related to poor cardiovascular health. Poor blood circulation may increase the risk of retinal vessel obstruction, where obstruction of blood vessels in the eye results in vision loss.
Poonam Patel, an eye health information officer at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, spoke to Lucinda Campbell