As well as providing support to people who are experiencing some form of vision impairment, East London vision is also keen to promote good eye health, or at least to reduce the effect of sight loss. In 5 weeks’ time, we will be at the beginning of National Eye Health Week, 21-27 September. I therefore thought it timely to provide some information about eye health. So, here are 10 did you know that questions:
1. It is estimated that over 50% of sight loss in the UK can be prevented or treated.
2. An eye health check can detect conditions such as Diabetes and Glaucoma, which may not be immediately obvious to you.
3. Fresh fruit, vegetables and oily fish protect against eye diseases such as Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Cataracts.
4. Smoking doubles your chances of sight loss. If you stop smoking, the risk decreases over time. So, the message is simple – do not take up smoking and, if you do smoke, stop, it’s never too late!
5. Many eye conditions run in families, including conditions such as Glaucoma and Cataracts. So knowledge of family history can help indicate the likelihood of a condition before it becomes serious.
6. Ethnicity affects the chance of developing a visual impairment. Glaucoma is more common in people of African, African-Caribbean, South-East Asian, or Chinese origins. Cataracts are more common in people of Asian origin. Diabetic Retinopathy is more common in people of African, African-Caribbean, or Asian origins.
7. Exposure to ultra violet light when young can do significant harm – so make sure children wear sunglasses.
8. You should wear protective goggles for all manual work and also when carrying out DIY at home. If you use a computer screen, take regular breaks, about once an hour, to safeguard against eye strain, tiredness and headaches.
9. Eye checks are free if you are: under 16, under 19 and in full time education, over 60, Diabetic, living with (or have a family history of) Glaucoma, registered blind or partially sighted, in receipt of certain state benefits or part of a work scheme that provides free tests.
10. It’s important that you, and your children, have a sight test at least every two years. The earlier a potential problem is picked up, the better, so don’t delay and have a check as soon as possible.
Book your eye test today!
This is what the rest of my team have been up to in the last week:
• Held an Online Today technology session in conjunction with RNIB
• In conjunction with The Challenge held the team challenge drama skills visit in Newham with Vision Impaired People of Newham
• Held a meeting with Motivate East
• Attended the Hackney members meeting for a lovely afternoon tea
• Attended a fantastic drama session in with VIPON and the NCS Challenge
• Attended an interesting Beyond Barriers meeting • Attended Barking & Dagenham Vision Strategy Group
• Met with Metro Blind Sport to plan future areas of partnership work
• Attended the Pocklington Vision Strategy implementation Managers meeting.
Until next time, regards
Roger Clifton (CEO)