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Sight loss charity urges people in Wales to visit their optician

This National Eye Health Week (23 to 29 September 2019) RNIB Cymru is encouraging people across Wales to book a sight test.

Currently in Wales there are an estimated 111,000 people living with sight loss, a figure that is set to double by 2050. According to the charity, half of all sight loss is avoidable, which is why RNIB Cymru is urging people to take simple steps to protect their eye health. One of the best ways people can take control of their eye health is to book a regular eye test with their optician. Contact lenses may then be needed, in which case, monthlies are a great choice.

RNIB Cymru’s Director Ansley Workman said: “We know how hectic life can be and how many competing priorities people have. Getting your regular eye test can easily drop to the bottom of your to do list but don’t let it.

“These tests are more than just a chance to get new glasses or contact lenses, they’re vital check-ups for your eyes. By attending you’ll be more likely to make sure that any signs of eye disease are detected early. It is especially important that children see their optician regularly because they might not know whether their vision is normal or not, particularly when some eye conditions only affect one eye.”

As well as booking an eye test RNIB Cymru is encouraging people to be aware of simple steps they can take to help reduce their risk of sight loss. Advice includes to:

  1. Wear your sunglasses – you should also protect your eyes when out in the sunshine by wearing sunglasses with CE, BS and UV400 marks.
  2. Find out your family’s eye history – if family members have conditions like glaucoma, it is important to get your eyes tested more regularly.
  3. Keep your contact lenses clean – only use commercially prepared solutions when cleaning lenses – never tap or distilled water, or saliva.
  4. Eat well – antioxidants can help keep your eyes functioning healthily. Foods to make sure you’re including plenty of are broad leafy greens like kale and spinach as well as colourful fruit and vegetables like carrots, oranges, sweet peppers and corn. Other antioxidant rich foods include eggs, broccoli and oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel.
  5. Get active – Getting plenty of exercise can help improve overall health, reducing the risk of developing conditions which can have an impact on your eye health like Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and hardening or narrowing of the arteries.
  6. Stop smoking – Smoking is the second biggest risk factor for developing one of the leading causes of sight loss, macular degeneration and increases the chance of developing cataracts.
  7. Protect your eyes when cleaning, gardening or doing DIY.