Our eyesight is something that we can take for granted, and when minor issues arise, we know what to do: book an appointment for a sight test.
But what happens when a sight test isn’t available?
For those aged 65 and over, regular eye health check-ups are an essential part of maintaining personal independence and quality of life, as well as acting as a way of managing underlying health concerns – such as diabetes, strokes, and cancers.
While sight tests may only be available for emergencies and urgent care under current COVID-19 restrictions, that doesn’t mean your vision and eye health should suffer.
As one of the UK’s leading eye care providers to the care home sector, Visioncall wants to ensure that you’re equipped with the information you need.
Our expert optometrists have shared their top 10 tips to help you understand the little things you can do daily to look after your eyesight for the long term.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Eating plenty of fruit and veg is essential for a healthy body. A balanced diet packed with vitamins and minerals can help protect your eyes against conditions such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration.
Choose protective eyewear
Wearing glasses with a built-in UV filter can help protect against cataracts developing, as even the winter sun’s rays can be harsh on eyes.
Smoking increases your chances of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, as well as many other health issues, so it’s best to quit the habit completely.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can help protect against diabetes, which can lead to sight loss. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and trying to stay active where you can, will help you to achieve this.
Let the light in
Did you know that our eyes need three times as much light aged 60 than they did at 20? Keep your home bright and light by keeping the curtains open during the day and ensuring that lighting is appropriate. Daylight bulbs are an excellent investment to keep the house as bright as possible.
Regular exercise, good circulation and oxygen intake are essential for eye health, so try and stay active as much as possible, and get outdoors as much as you can. Keeping windows open can also help you access plenty of fresh air during the day.
Get a good night’s sleep
Sleeping is when your eyes are lubricated and cleared out, so a restful night’s sleep is essential. Aim for eight hours a night, and ensure your room is dark enough to aid a night of good, deep sleep.
Check your eyesight regularly
Checking your eyesight individually – or ‘monocularly’ – is an excellent way of comparing the vision in both eyes. Cover each eye in turn with the palm of your hand and pay attention to the level of detail you can see in each eye. Many people don’t notice that sight in one eye has deteriorated significantly, as your ‘good eye’ compensates for it.
Take screen breaks
Try and keep your screens at eye level, and around 40cm from your face, and every five minutes, look away from your screen and blink a few times. Follow the 20x20x20 rule too; every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds away from your screen and focus on something 20 feet away.
Check your prescription regularly
If you wear glasses or lenses, check that you’ve got the correct prescription, to prevent eye strain.
We hope these tips will help you maintain great eye health, but if you do have any concerns about your eye health or sight levels, always consult an optometrist.