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Experts offer advice on eye care for blindness awareness month

Tears are good for you.
Tears are good for you. / SUR
  • Keeping fit, eating avocados and getting a good night's sleep all help keep our eyes and vision in good condition

To mark the recent World Sight Day, and by extension Blindness Awareness Month throughout October, experts stress that good lifestyle habits can help prevent problems with eyes and vision.

Having an eye test does more than just check for changes in vision is the message Specsavers Opticas aims to get across in its recent awareness campaign. A test can help prevent sight loss through early detection of conditions and even spot other health concerns such as brain tumours or circulation problems, according to Dr Nigel Best, the chain's clinical spokesperson for Specsavers.

"Vision is our most precious sense and the one people fear losing the most. It deserves care and regular attention. There have been significant advancement in opticians' ability to diagnose disease and everyone should take advantage of the latest innovations at high street opticians," he said.

Meanwhile to preserve eye health here are a number of everyday lifestyle habits that Dr Best recommends.

His first piece of advice is to stay active, which reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

"Don't hold back the tears," he warns, as a good cry can lubricate the eyes, wash away foreign matter and help reduce the risk of eye infections.

Getting enough sleep is also important as it helps avoid twitching eye muscles.

As far as diet is concerned, eating fish that is high in omega 3 fatty acids helps with eye lubrication, says the doctor.

Avocados are also recommended as they are rich in zinc and vitamin B which help stave off cataracts, and have a high amount of lutein which research suggests can help to prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Meanwhile drinking plenty of water avoids symptoms of dry eye.

Finally the specialist advises not leaving eye makeup on at night as it increases chances of getting bacterial and oil build-up around the eyes or even inflammation.

Finally users of contact lenses are encouraged to wash their hands before handling them and to care for their lenses properly to reduce the risk of getting bacteria in the eye.