Looking after your eyes

Date: 21/09/2021

It’s National Eye Health Week (20th – 26th September), a time of the year when Vision Matters encourage everybody to take better care of their eyes. It’s easy to take your vision for granted, but sight loss affects people of all ages and as we grow older the likelihood of sight loss and visual impairment increases.

There are a number of things that you can do to look after your eyes:

Protect your eyes from the sun

The suns UV rays can cause irreversible damage, so wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from this ultraviolet light. Look for glasses carrying the CE mark or the British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013, as these marks ensure that they offer a safe level of protection from UV rays.


Exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from narrowing or hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes. Studies have shown that lack of exercise can significantly contribute to several eye conditions, particularly in people aged 60 and over.


Smoking is the second biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration and also increases your risk of developing cataracts. Stopping smoking can have many benefits for your general health.


Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants can help prevent retinal damage. Some foods that are recommended for maintaining healthy eyes are; oily fish like salmon or tuna, broad leaf greens like kale and spinach, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables such as corn, carrots and oranges and eggs.

Regular eye tests

Eye tests are not just about checking if your vision needs correcting with glasses or contact lenses, they can also help detect other underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Everybody should have regular eye tests, with the recommendation of at least one sight test every two years. The NHS provides free eye test for those who are:

  • under 16
  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education
  • are 60 or over
  • are registered as partially sighted or blind
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement

If you require further care, Spencer Private Hospitals has an expert team of Ophthalmology consultants who can help care for your eye sight.

National Eye Health Week 2021

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