Why it's important to focus on having good eyesight

It's National Eye Health Week, whose aim is to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests.

Thursday, 21st September 2017, 5:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st September 2017, 5:50 pm
There are steps you can take to maintaining healthy eyes.

Did you know that 1.8 million people in the UK are living with sight loss?

But for 53% of them, a pair of new prescription glasses and a sight test could work wonders.

There are many causes for complications with your eye health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and glaucoma.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The first step in tracking down the problem is to have regular eye tests, where these conditions can be detected early on.

If it’s found you have a health condition like those above, you can talk to your local or online doctor about the repeat medication available that can treat or relieve symptoms, and may improve your eye health in the long term.

However, there are steps you can take to maintaining healthy eyes that can be preventative for many serious conditions.

Here are my top five:

HEALTHY DIET: Keeping a healthy diet full of antioxidants is hugely beneficial to prevent retinal damage, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

EXERCISE: Lack of regular exercise can lead to several eye conditions, so keeping up the fitness levels can help reduce the risk of sight loss from hardening the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.

ALCOHOL: Limiting your alcohol intake is crucial for reducing the risk of many serious conditions, a lot of which can have a detrimental effect on your eyes.

SMOKING Smoking is one of the biggest risks to developing a serious eye condition. Talk to your local or online pharmacist about the best options for you so you can finally kick the habit!

THE SUN Something we often forget when we’re on holiday or out and about, but it is very important to wear protective sunglasses when the sun is out.

* For more advice, or for a referral to get your eyes tested, talk to your GP.

* Dr Alexandra Phelan is an NHS GP and online doctor with pharmacy2u.co.uk