Every 65 minutes an Australian loses part or all of their vision – but 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early enough. Vision loss can affect people at any time in their lives, and it will often happen gradually. To give you the best chance of detecting any problems, the RANZCO Eye Foundation recommends having a check-up at least every two years.
Here are six tips from the Eye Foundation for taking care of your eyes.
1. Have regular check-ups
Early detection and treatment is the best defense against eye problems. You should have an eye test every two years (by your GP, or an optometrist or ophthalmologist). If you notice any changes to your vision, get it checked out immediately.
2. Protect your eyes from the sun
Choose sunglasses with a UV filter to protect your eyes from damaging rays when you’re outside. (Tip: Find out more about finding the right protective eyewear for outdoor activity.)
3. Quit smoking
If you need one more reason not to smoke, here it is: smoking makes you more vulnerable to developing eye disease, as it kills healthy cells.
4. Maintain a healthy weight
Staying active, eating well and maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can result in eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy.
5. Eat your greens (and yellows)
A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens such as spinach and yellow vegetables such pumpkin and carrot, helps keep your eyes healthy.
6. Add omega-3 fatty acids
Eating fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and tuna, as well as nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts, can also help support your eye health.
The JulEYE campaign
The JulEYE campaign, an initiative of the RANZCO Eye Foundation, encourages all Australians to take the time to consider our eye health and make an appointment to get our eyes tested. JulEYE also raises funds for research projects into the causes and cures of vision impairment, and supports international development projects related to vision and blindness.
An eye test is recommended at least every two years. To find a Medibank Members’ Choice optometrist visit medibank.com.au