By Woman’s Day
They get so close to us they can probably feel our breath on their faces (sorry, opticians!) but what do the people who look deep into our eyes really wish we knew? We found out.
1. Eye tests could save your life.
“When we test your eyes, we’re not just checking how well you can see. We use state-of-the-art medical equipment that can detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumors, strokes, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and even multiple sclerosis, as well as eye problems such as glaucoma. Optometrists train for at least four years to gain these skills, so visiting them is definitely worth your time.”
2. We won’t pretend frames look great on you if they don’t.
“Picking frames can be daunting since it’s a very personal choice of accessory — you’re going to be wearing it on your face! We’ll offer you advice and always give you our honest opinion if they just don’t suit you.”
3. There’s no harm in wearing your prescribed glasses all the time.
It’s a common myth that wearing your glasses all the time can make your eyesight worse — this is not true! Wearing your prescribed glasses helps reduce eye-strain, making your eyes a lot more relaxed.”
4. Your eyes love water.
“One of the most simple yet effective ways to achieve good eye health is to drink plenty of water. Dry eye is a very common complaint and can be uncomfortable and irritating; drinking water keeps things lubricated.”
5. We don’t mind training you for hours on contact lenses.
“Contact lenses are simple and comfortable for most people. Some, however, have a natural aversion to putting anything near their eyes. We’re used to coaching patients until they get the hang of putting contacts in and taking them out again, so don’t be embarrased if you’re struggling.”
6. Make-up on the move is bad.
“If you apply mascara or eye liner on your commute, you’re certainly not alone, but you may want to think again. One bump in the road or a sharp brake and your delicate cornea (the front surface of your eye) could be in trouble. A scratch can be painful and could lead to infection.”
7. It’s time to ditch the old products.
“Replace your mascara regularly, as after a while it can become a breeding ground for bacteria, increasing your risk of eye infections.”
8. Eight is too late.
“Some parents don’t realize that at the age of eight it is often too late to correct eye conditions such as a squint or a lazy eye, which can lead to lifelong problems. I recommend an eye examination for all children before eight years old and then once every one to two years.”
9. Smoking is not just bad for your lungs.
“The number one cause of visual impairment in the UK is a condition called Age Related Macular Degeneration. A major cause of this condition is smoking so stopping is always a good idea, irrespective of how old you are or how long you have smoked.”
10. Contact lenses and water could damage your sight.
“Always wash your hands with non-cosmetic soap before handling contact lenses. Never use tap water directly on lenses, and never put contact lenses in your mouth to ‘rinse’ them. Microorganisms can live in even distilled water, causing infection or sight damage.”
“Do not swim in your contact lenses. Wearing goggles is better than not wearing them, but there remains a small risk of serious infection if you wear your contacts while swimming in a pool.”
“If your contact lenses tend to dry out towards the end of the day try using a re-wetting solution that your optometrist has approved.”
11. Be wary if you stare at a screen all day.
“Staring at a computer screen all day can cause a number of symptoms ranging from aching eyes and headaches to dry eyes. The good news is that these symptoms are transient, they tend to go away when ceasing screen work. There is no evidence that long term screen use can damage a user’s vision. If you experience any symptoms relating to your screen work you should discuss these with your optician.”
12. Bad eyesight is in the genes.
“Refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism) change as you get older. Various factors come into play, but most change is likely due to genetics and continues despite wearing glasses earlier or later or more or less.”
13. Looking at the sun can permanently damage eyesight.
“Looking at the sun may not only cause headache and blur your vision temporarily, but it can also cause permanent eye damage. Any exposure to sunlight adds to the cumulative effects of ultraviolet radiation on your eyes. UV exposure has been linked to eye disorders such as macular degeneration, cataract and burns on your retina.”
14. Don’t leave it too late to act.
“At the very first sign of symptoms, such as blurred vision, eye pain, flashes of light, or sudden onset of floaters in your vision, you should see your optometrist. If detected early enough, depending on the cause, there are treatments that can correct, stop, or at least slow down the loss of vision.”
15. Your kids need sunglasses.
“80% of the ultraviolet radiation eyes are exposed to over our whole lifespan will be absorbed before we reach the age of 18. CE marked sunglasses or UV blocking contact lenses will help reduce your child’s exposure to UV radiation.”
16. Eating carrots won’t necessarily improve your vision.
“Carrots are high in vitamin A, a nutrient essential for good vision. Eating carrots will provide you with the small amount of vitamin A needed for good vision, but there is no solid science to prove a direct link.”
17. Sitting too close to the TV won’t actually damage your vision.
“Sitting closer than necessary to the television may give you a headache, but it will not damage your vision. Children, especially if they’re short-sighted, may do this to see the TV more clearly. They may, in fact, need glasses.”
18. Reading in the dark won’t weaken your eyesight.
“As with sitting too close to the television, you may feel eyestrain or get a headache from reading in the dark, but it will not weaken your eyes.”