Tag Archives: National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week 21 – 27 Sept 2020

Be Eye Aware! National Eye Health Week 21 - 27 Sept 2020

National Eye Health Week takes place from 21st to 27th September 2020

This document has been put together by the BAME Vision Committee.

Introduction

Vision is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know how to look after our eyes – National Eye Health Week aims to change all that to help promote the importance of good eye health and the need for regular testing.

 

Lifestyle

Diet, Nutrition and Hydration

The food we eat has a huge impact on our eyesight.  However,  a recent survey revealed that 60% of people living in the UK have no idea about the link between a good diet and healthy eyesight .  The vitamins and minerals found in fruit, vegetables and other wholesome foods can help protect our sight and keep our eyes healthy.

http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/downloads/nutrition-and-the-eye.pdf

Natural foods that are really beneficial to eye health are generally those that are colourful in appearance and contain carotenoids which are essential for healthy eyes. Fruits such as oranges, blueberries, grapes, mango, and vegetables such as sweetcorn, carrots, butternut squash, red peppers and – most importantly – green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale are foods that are all really rich in carotenoids and act as antioxidants which are nature’s way of getting rid of harmful cells and help keep our eyes healthy.

Carotenoids also may help reduce the discomfort from glare and help to enhance visual contrasts which supports our eyes ability to distinguish between colours and shapes.  Soy is also known to be very beneficial for good eye health as it contains vitamin E and other essential natural anti-inflammatory agents. All of the above foods , and many others, including eggs, and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna all naturally contain essential nutrients that are beneficial to healthy eyes.

http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/looking-after-your-eyes/looking-after-your-eyes

 

Water

Drinking plenty of water every day is also essential for healthy eyes as they can easily become dehydrated which is severely harmful to eyes. Dehydration and distorted vision are often closely related. This happens because when we are dehydrated our eyes become dry and sore which causes eye strain which in turn leads to blurred vision which is  often followed by vision headaches or migraine. When we drink water we are also adding oxygen to our brain and eyes and we all know we can’t survive without oxygen. So it is really important to make drinking plenty of water part of a daily routine for good eye health. The Food Standards Agency recommends that we drink approximately 1.2 litres (6-8 glasses) of water every day and more if exercising or if the weather is hot.

https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/content/ten-steps-healthy-eyes

 

Exercise

 According to evidence from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London our eyes need oxygen to stay healthy and comfortable.  There is growing scientific evidence that aerobic exercise can increase oxygen to the optic nerve and lower pressure in the eye.  Reducing this pressure can help control conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension) and glaucoma.

Lack of exercise is said to contribute significantly to several eye conditions especially to those over 60 years old.  Exercise is known to  reduce hardening or narrowing of the arteries and which in turn reduces the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol all conditions which may negatively affect good eye health.

Exercise does not have to mean going to the gym or running a marathon.  Simply 30 minutes brisk ( or two lots of 15 minutes) walking at least five times a week will help with good eye health. Brisk walks, swimming, cycling, jogging, yoga, pilates and dancing or any form of activity that elevates the heart rate for short periods of time will all help to reduce pressure in the eyes.

 https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/content/ten-steps-healthy-eyes

 

 Alcohol

Alcohol is a diuretic which causes dehydration. This is due to the excessive loss of fluid either through the passing of urine more frequently or through sweating.  As stated previously dehydration is not good for eye health.  In addition alcohol also raises blood sugar levels which leads to blurred vision as it causes the eye’s lens to swell which reduces the ability to see.  It can take up to 24 hours, with no more alcohol consumed, for blood sugar levels and vision  to return to normal.

If we drink too much alcohol our blood pressure rises which in turn increases the possibility of hypertensive retinopathy which causes damage to the tiny delicate vessels that supply blood to the eye’s retina, the area at the back of the eye that allows us to focus on images.  The higher the blood pressure and the longer it has been elevated, the higher the risk of the damage.  This condition may gradually improve if steps are taken to consistently lower blood pressure.

Excessive drinking of alcohol, even for a short period of time, will interfere with our liver’s ability to function properly because it reduces the levels of glutathione which is an efficient antioxidant that can help protect against common eye disease. Heavy consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/age-related-macular-degeneration-amd/

Advice from the Department of Health recommends that men should not drink more than 3 to 4 units of alcohol per day and that women should not drink more than 2 units per day.

https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/content/ten-steps-healthy-eyes

 

Smoking

 Smoking has been said to have a close association with strong or malignant hypertensive retinopathy (which causes damage to the tiny delicate vessels that supply blood to the eye’s retina, the area at the back of the eye that allows us to focus on images) due to elevated blood pressure levels.

Smokers are far more likely to develop AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) which is the most common cause of sight-loss in the UK, and cataracts.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/look-after-your-eyes/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/10-self-help-tips-to-stop-smoking/?tabname=smoking-facts

 

The Sun

 We should never look directly at the sun as this can lead to irreversible damage to eyes or even blindness.  There are studies that show that sunlight exposure can be a risk factor related to  those who develop cataracts (see below).

Excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to a sunburn-like condition called photokeratitis. This can be extremely painful and make your eyes red, swollen and watery. The symptoms of this condition are an inflammation of the outer layer of the cornea, which typically occurs after 6 – 12 hours exposure and will normally clear up quickly causing no permanent damage to the eye.

Unfortunately the damaging effect of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun accumulate over a number of years so that by the time we are 18 we will already have been exposed to too much UV rays.  For this reason it is never too early to start protecting our children’s eyes.

The general advice is, if possible wear a wide brimmed hat/ sunglasses that can help protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.  Wear dark glasses, they need not be expensive. Ensure sunglasses filter AT LEAST 99 per cent of UVA and UVB light and look out for the Look for sunglasses glasses carrying the CE mark or the British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1:2013, which ensures they offer a safe level of ultraviolet protection.

http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/looking-after-your-eyes/looking-after-your-eyes

 

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens, a small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches.

As we get older, they start to become frosted, like bathroom glass, and begin to limit our vision.

Over time these patches usually become bigger causing blurry, misty vision and eventually.  It may be recommended to wear glasses or contacts with stronger lenses.  But unfortunately cataracts will become worse and surgery is the only way to treat them.  Thankfully, cataract surgery is one of the most common and straightforward operations, usually done as day surgery with no need to stay overnight in hospital.

There are three known types of cataracts

Nuclear cataract – The most common type, usually caused by ageing.

Cortical cataract Forms in the lens cortex that surrounds the nucleus of the eye.

Subcapsular cataract – Forms at the back of the lens, and can be caused by diabetes and other factors.

https://lookafteryoureyes.org/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cataracts/#:~:text=Cataracts%20are%20when%20the%20lens,misty%20vision%20and%20eventually%20blindness

 

Eye Tests & Vouchers

A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma which can be treated if found soon enough. During a sight test other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.  For most people it is recommended that you should have an eye test every two years.

Free Eye tests – are available In England, Northern Ireland and Wales for eligible people eg

  • Aged under 16
  • Aged 16 – 18 and In full time education
  • Claiming Benefit such as Universal Credit
  • On a low income
  • Claiming Tax credits

In Scotland eye examinations  are free for everyone.

 

NHS Vouchers

If test results show that you do need glasses or contact lenses, then the NHS gives Optical Vouchers for those eligible.

Visit the Vision Matters website for more information http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/sight-tests/eligibility-and-vouchers

Or contact your healthcare advisor

 

Eye Health During the Pandemic

 It is important to attend eye appointments whether it’s a routine, regular or follow up appointment, or for an injection, or if you are in need of emergency advice. You should attend unless you have been advised otherwise or, of course if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

For advice on preparing for an appointment please follow this link to a video from the RNIB https://www.rnib.org.uk/sight-loss-advice/eye-health/eye-health-and-appointments-during-coronavirus

Where three  Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) offer their advice and tips on what you can expect

You can also download a transcript of the video

The following is taken directly from the RNIB website

Staff at hospitals and eye clinics are usually available to provide information and reassurance if you have any queries. Call them directly ahead of time; if no-one is available to take your call immediately, some may have recorded information available or leave a voicemail to request a call back. If you can’t make your appointment, always let your clinician, or ECLO, know so they can reschedule it and offer the time to other patients.

 

Eye care in England

Routine eye examinations were suspended in England when lockdown began in March 2020 but were restarted on 15 June 2020 in England only (there are different arrangements in place in the rest of the UK). Read about the precautions that opticians and optometrists have put in place to protect patients and staff from coronavirus.

 

Eye care in Scotland

If you live in Scotland, find out about the newly-created Emergency Eye Care Treatment Centres.

 

Eye care in Wales

Dr Gwyn William, Consultant Ophthalmologist, explains what is happening with eye care appointments across Wales due to coronavirus.

 

Sight Advice FAQ

Sight Advice FAQ, the website which answers common questions about living with sight loss, has information for on eye health and medical needs during coronavirus

 

National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week 24 -30 Sept 2018

National Eye Health Week:  Your Vision Matters

24th- 30th September 2018

Here is the alink to Vista magazine (http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/vista/vista)  produced for National Eye health week on 24th – 30th September 2018.

This week we are promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests.

Come and meet the Sight and Hearing Service, Local Community Opticians, Diabetes and Smoking Cessation Teams and East London Vision for more information.

Date: Tuesday 25th September  Time: 10am-3pm

Location: Royal London Hospital (Stepney Way entrance), Whitechapel Road. E1 1BB

Date: Thursday 27th September Time: 10am-3pm

Location: Sainsbury’s Superstore, Cambridge Heath Road, Whitechapel. E1 5SD

 

NEHW Electronic Resources

Please use these downloadable resources to celebrate National Eye Health Week and highlight the importance of regular eye tests as well as how lifestyle choices can affect your vision and eye health.

link to the resources page: http://bit.ly/NEHWResources

We’ll be publishing more resources, including fact sheets and press releases, in the run up to the Week so keep checking for new materials.

Don’t forget to register your event or activity on our online event calendar. You can submit public and private events.

Please note that these materials may not be altered and that information and images may not be copied without the express permission of the National Eye Health Week project team. For permission please contact rachel@visionmatters.org.uk

If you would like artwork supplied with full bleed or have bespoke requests please contact info@visionmatters.org.uk 

 

National Eye Health at Sainsburys!

National Eye Health Week at Sainsburys 27 Sept
Venue:
Sainsbury’s Superstore, Cambridge Heath Road, Whitechapel. E1 5SD
Time:
10.00 am - 3.00 pm
Phone:
Date:
27th September 2018
Cost:
Free
Contact:


National Eye Health Week Vision really matters

24th- 30th September 2018

This week we are promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests.

Come and meet the Sight and Hearing Service, Local Community Opticians, Diabetes and Smoking Cessation Teams and East London Vision for more information.

Come and see us:

Date: Thursday 27th September Time: 10am-3pm

Location: Sainsbury’s Superstore, Cambridge Heath Road, Whitechapel. E1 5SD

 

National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week 24 -30 Sept 2018
Venue:
Location: Royal London Hospital (Stepney Way entrance), Whitechapel Road. E1 1BB
Time:
10.00 am - 3.00 pm
Phone:
Date:
25th September 2018
Cost:
Free
Contact:


National Eye Health Week Vision really matters

24th- 30th September 2018

This week we are promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests.

Come and meet the Sight and Hearing Service, Local Community Opticians, Diabetes and Smoking Cessation Teams and East London Vision for more information.

Come and see us:

Date: Tuesday 25th September  Time: 10am-3pm

Location: Royal London Hospital (Stepney Way entrance), Whitechapel Road. E1 1BB

Date: Thursday 27th September Time: 10am-3pm

Location: Sainsbury’s Superstore, Cambridge Heath Road, Whitechapel. E1 5SD

 

UK contact lens users putting vision at risk with bad habits

National Eye Health Week 2017

There are 4.2 million contact lens wearers in the UK and while many look after their eyes and lenses, others, according to a new report are putting their eye health at risk by failing to follow basic contact lens care guidelines.

London, 19th September. Over two million people in the UK are currently affected by sight loss and this is set to double by 2050. A recent report commissioned by Vision Direct, Europe’s largest online contact lens retailer, is a stark reminder of how important eye health is. The research was conducted  in the run up to National Eye Health Week (18 to 24 September), promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for everyone.

  • Over 70% of contact lens wearers have fallen asleep in their lenses
  • 39% have worn them whilst swimming and shockingly, almost a quarter (23%) have rinsed their lenses in water rather than solution to disinfect them
  • Specialists have seen a big rise in the number of cases of diseases associated with contact lenses.

The research found that a staggering 70% of contact lens wearers have fallen asleep in their lenses, with the most common reasons being because they forgot to take them out (41%),  had a bit too much to drink (27%) or were too tired to take them out (21%) – resulting in them waking up with dry and uncomfortable eyes.

Men (76%) are more likely than women (64%) to fall asleep in their lenses – mostly because they forgot (47%) or had a bit too much to drink (32%).

One of the more shocking stats was that 39% of contact lens wearers admit they have worn them whilst swimming or washing and 23% have rinsed their lenses in water as opposed to the recommended solution. Specialists have recently noticed a big rise in cases of acanthamoeba keratitis caused by exposure to contaminated water, with 85% of these cases occurring in contact lens wearers who are otherwise fit and healthy.

Aside from not cleaning lenses properly, many are wearing them for longer than the recommended time. Three in ten (29%) have worn single-use lenses more than once – with men (35%) being more likely than women (25%) to do this. On the other hand, women are more likely to wear lenses for longer than the recommended time (41%) than men are (36%).

Brendan O’Brien, COO and Head Optician at Vision Direct, said:

“In reality while some of the data is quite shocking it is not altogether surprising in my experience. Contact lens quality today is spectacularly better than a decade ago and with this quality comes improved comfort. When your lenses are really comfortable, it becomes a bit more likely for wearers to just forget they haven’t removed their lenses.”

“Those who often don’t follow guidelines on contact lens care are more likely to experience a problem with their eye health. It’s important to remember, however, that millions of happy wearers never have any issues with their lenses.”

Michele Acton, CEO of Fight for Sight, a charity that’s mission is to fight sight loss said:

“We are delighted to be supporting National Eye Health Week. It’s a good time to remind people to take care of their eye sight. The combination of regular eye tests, people looking after their overall health and Fight for Sight funding pioneering research into the prevention and treatment of sight loss means that we can one day stop sight loss in its tracks.”

 

National Eye Health Week 2017