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Maintaining Healthy Vision

Post on 11th September 2023

Our eyes are among the most precious assets we possess, providing us with the gift of sight that allows us to experience the world around us. However, our eyes can be vulnerable to various conditions that may compromise our vision.

Some of the most prevalent eye conditions include dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. At Scrivens, with 85 years’ experience as a leading eye care specialist in the UK, we explain these conditions, their symptoms, potential relief tips, and most importantly, how you can take proactive steps to maintain optimal eye health.

1. Dry Eye: Unmasking the Discomfort

Our eyes are equipped with a sophisticated system to keep them moist and comfortable. Tears, composed of water, oils, mucus, and antibodies, play a crucial role in maintaining this balance. However, factors such as air conditioning, heating, and prolonged screen time can cause the tear film to dry out, leading to the discomfort of dry eyes. Symptoms include burning sensations, light sensitivity, redness, blurry vision, and difficulty wearing contact lenses.

To address dry eyes, consult an optician who can assess your condition and provide artificial tear drops and ointments. Additionally, consciously blinking more often while using digital screens can help keep your eyes moist and prevent dryness.

2. Cataracts: Clouding the Vision

Cataracts, often age-related, cloud the lens of the eye, leading to blurry vision, glare, and colour changes. They are more common in individuals aged 50 and above, and they can result from factors like UV radiation, protein breakdown, or injury. As cataracts progress, night driving and other tasks become increasingly challenging due to reduced light reaching the retina.

Cataracts can be treated with surgery, which is recommended based on the degree of vision loss and its impact on your quality of life. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and incorporating foods rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, may help slow down cataract progression.

3. Diabetic Retinopathy: A Consequence of High Blood Sugar

People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can develop diabetic retinopathy, a condition caused by prolonged high blood sugar damaging the blood vessels in the back of the eye. Symptoms range from floaters and blurry vision to eye pain and sudden vision loss. Timely intervention, often involving laser surgery, can prevent significant vision loss by sealing or destroying problematic blood vessels.

4. Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Darkening of the Central Vision

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the macula, a critical part of the retina responsible for clear central vision. AMD is a leading cause of permanent vision loss in individuals over 60, with risk factors including age and family history. While no cure exists, treatments like anti-angiogenesis drugs and laser therapy can slow disease progression.

5. Glaucoma: Silent Thief of Sight

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve over time, often due to increased intraocular pressure. This condition can lead to irreversible vision loss, making regular eye check-ups vital. Glaucoma might not exhibit early symptoms, underscoring the importance of proactive eye care. If detected, glaucoma can be managed through surgery, lasers, or eye drops to alleviate elevated eye pressure.

Preserving Your Vision: Practical Tips

  • Regular Eye Tests: Even if your eyesight seems fine, routine visits to an optician can catch potential issues early.
  • UV Protection: Quality sunglasses shield your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays, safeguarding your corneas and retinas.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Incorporate leafy greens, omega-3-rich fish, and stay physically active to reduce the risk of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that can impact your vision.

Our vision is precious, and we should treat it with care and attention.  Understanding common eye conditions and their warning signs empowers you to seek professional help promptly. By adopting healthy habits and staying vigilant, you can cherish the gift of sight for years to come. Remember, your eyes deserve the best – let’s keep them healthy together. Whether through regular eye exams or lifestyle adjustments, take the proactive steps needed to safeguard your vision. Your eyes will thank you for it.

If you have any concerns about your eye health you can find help and advice on our website or alternatively visit your local Scrivens branch.

If you found these top tips useful, you may also be interested in learning about diabetes and its impact on your vision.