1. Stop smoking: Smoking is one of the most harmful lifestyle habits for the health of your eyes, so quitting (or even better – not starting) is probably the most effective way of protecting your eyes.
2. Eye checks: Everyone should have a regular eye examination with a qualified ophthalmologist to maintain good eye health – not just the quality of the vision but to check the overall health of the eye (did you know that the eye can also reveal health issues in other parts of the body?). Most adults should have a sight test every two years and your eye doctor will tell you if you need to have your eyes tested more often than that.
3. Sunglasses: In a hot and dusty climate, protecting the eyes with good quality sunglasses with polarised lenses and a hat with a brim, is a sensible precaution.
4. Healthy diet: Diet influences the health of the body generally, including the eyes, and a vitamin-rich diet including fruit and vegetables is a positive lifestyle choice.
5. Exercise: A healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise protects some people against diabetes and other diseases which can damage sight. For people with diabetes, more regular eye screening is essential because of the greater risk of potentially serious eye complications.
6. Take symptoms seriously: If you are experiencing unusual symptoms such as cloudy vision, blurred images, floating spots and loss of vision, head straight to an ophthalmologist to get them checked. You could be saving your sight
7. Older eyes need more care: We take our eyes for granted but in our forties a lot of us start to need glasses who did not before. Most people do not know that there is an increasing risk of eye disorders with age and for the over 40s, we recommend annual eye check ups.
8. Children need eye tests too: Some eye problems run in families – if anyone in your family has a squint or lazy eye you should arrange an eye test by three years of age. If you see or suspect an eye problem you should get an assessment right away rather than wait till the child is 3. Most causes of poor vision in children are easily correctable if they are picked up and treated in time, from birth until about 7 1/2 years of age so checking the eyes during this period is important.