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EYE CARE TIPS
Helping Your Eyes Last A Lifetime
Believe it or not, we all blink about 17,000 times a day*. That’s a lot of work for the tiny muscles in your eyes so it’s little wonder they occasionally feel tired or sore. We want to help you take good care of your hardworking eyes, so we’ve developed the OPSM Top 5 Eye Care Tips.
Take An Eye Test At Least Every Two Years
Try not to take your eyes for granted. They provide up to 16 hours of service every day of the year; so a 30 minute eye test at least every two years should be a celebration of the wonderful service they give you.
However some people may need to be tested more often than every two years if they experience particular eye conditions or are over the age of 40. If in doubt, drop in to an OPSM store and we’ll be happy to advise you.
It can be a good idea to have the whole family tested at the same time, including the kids, as you’ll all benefit from being able to see clearer.
Protect Your Eyes From UV Damage
Did you know that UV rays from the sun also reflect off surfaces such as water, sand and snow, and the harm they cause is irreversible? Cataracts and conjunctival changes have been linked to UV damage.
What’s more, the eyelid region accounts for 5% to 10% of all skin cancers*.
We all slip, slop, slap regularly but often forget about our eyes, which are just as sensitive to UV as our skin. But there is a solution. Wearing a pair of sunglasses is like applying sunscreen so put them on whenever you’re outdoors, even in the shade.
Try and persuade your children to wear kids sunglasses too, as well as a hat. After all, they can look pretty cool. Since the 1990s, UV radiation in Australia has increased by between 2% and 6%^ and youngsters spend more time outdoors than most of their parents.
It’s also worth noting that sunglasses vary in quality enormously, with some sunglasses providing only a small amount of UV protection. To adequately care for your eyes, choose a pair of sunglasses with a minimum Sunglass Standards rating of 2. Learn more about the ratings at ARPANSA Sunglass Standards.
If you wear prescription glasses, please remember that 85% of our sunglasses can be fitted with prescription lenses and they’re 100% UV protected, so you don’t have to sacrifice style for perfect vision.
^Source: International Journal of Biometeorology
Eat A Well Balanced Diet
And Exercise Regularly
Your eyes love a diet rich in antioxidants and omega oils. Snacking on fruit and nuts and eating oily fish or eggs a couple of times a week will help keep them healthy.
By doing this, you may even reduce the likelihood of dry eyes and macular degeneration if you’re over the age of 40.
Foods that are good for eyes include:
- Oily fish - salmon, herring and sardines for their Omega-3 fatty acids
- Fruit - bilberries, blueberries, prunes, raisins and strawberries as they are rich in antioxidants
- Leafy green vegetables – spinach, broccoli and kale for their essential vitamins and minerals
- Eggs - for fatty acids, lutein, B-vitamins and zinc
- Dark chocolate – for its antioxidants and flavinoids
- Garlic – which can enhance blood flow and boost the immune system
Some eye conditions, such as diabetes, are also associated with lack of activity and exercise so keeping fit even keeps your eyes in good shape*. How much you do is up to you, but even just adding a brisk walk to your daily routine is good.
*Source: Vision Australia 2020
Give Your Eyes A Break
Working for hours on a computer, tablet or mobile phone can lead to computer eye strain, making your eyes tired as they’re fixed on a screen at a specific distance for long periods of time.
Try to take a few moments to refresh your eyes and give them a break by following these tips. But if you still find that your eyes are tired and sore at the end of the day, it might be time for an eye test, even if you’re not due for one.
- Take a 2-3 minute break from screens every 45 minutes. Why not put a reminder on your computer?
- Tell your children to limit computer activity and video games to 45 minutes.
- Blink more often as it helps you avoid dry eyes and irritation.
- Order anti-reflective coating on your glasses to prevent glare.
- Avoid lighting that’s in your direct line of sight or reflects off the screen.
- If you’re working on a computer, place reference material at the same distance as your screen so your eyes don’t have to continually readjust.
It is well worth giving your eyes some gentle exercise too, to help reduce the eyestrain caused by modern lifestyles. These routines take very little time and can be done on a daily basis.
- Routine 1 – High, Low: Keeping your back and neck straight, and your head still, look as high as possible, then look down. Repeat this 10 times, then close and rest your eyes for about 30 seconds.
- Routine2 – Left, Right: Keeping your eyes wide open, look as far to the right as possible, then to the left. Again, repeat 10 times, then close and rest your eyes for 30 seconds.
Check Your Family History
Some eye conditions can be passed down through your family genes so it’s worth checking out your family history if you haven’t already. Here are some of the most common hereditary diseases and conditions.
- Sensitivity to light
A condition called Achromatopsia can be inherited from both parents, resulting in decreased vision, sensitivity to light and losing colour from your vision. Tinted lenses can help alleviate the sensitivity*.
- Colour blindness
Although commonly used, colour blindness is a misleading name as people cannot actually be colour ‘blind’. Those who are told they are colour blind are actually colour deficient. There’s no treatment but most people adjust to the condition easily. It affects approximately 1 in 10 men, and women are rarely affected. A difficulty in distinguishing between the colours red and green is the most common type, and blue and yellow may also cause confusion.
- Blindness in young people
Retinitis Pigmentosa is an inherited eye disease resulting from a mutated gene that causes the retina to degenerate. It usually appears in childhood but vision issues don’t occur until the late teens and early twenties. This disease can cause people suffering from it to become legally blind by the age of 40.