Just think of what your life would be like if you were not able see. You would not be able to see your loved ones, walk around safely, view scenery, read a book, view television or a film, drive a car, play sport, and have to rely on other people to provide assistance when you need it.

There are those who are blind though birth, are blind as the result of an accident, health, or ageing.

For those who have sight there is a tendency to take it for granted and that everything is fine.  Taking care of your eyes is critical. Never ignore any change occurring with your eyes and have regular eye checks.

There are many things occurring in our daily lives that we do not consider, but they do affect our eyesight and it is time to give attention to them.

You will be aware of the effect on us of UV light and sunshine.  Switching off television, your mobile phone and computers at least 30 minutes prior to going to bed. Why? The blue light impacts on the ability to have a good night’s sleep as it has an effect on our mood and cognitive functioning. However, apart from sleep, we do need blue light to keep us healthy

UV and blue light can also affect our eyesight. Wearing sunglasses is important. Many people do wear them on sunny days. It is important to be aware that UV light filters through on dull days. Talk to your optician about sunglasses and ask about yellow tinted lenses – they appear to help block blue light and it is said they are useful not only in the sun but also when working constantly on the computer.

Ultra-Violet (UV) is measured in nanometers (nm)

UVA (320-400nm) is very damaging and radiation affects the crystalline lense of the eye.  (Mentioned in my blog about sun and the skin, UVA light penetrates glass, making it important to also apply sunscreen when in a car or working/sitting behind glass – sunglasses should also be used to protect the eyes).

UVB (286-320nm) absorbed by the cornea and is the cause of sunburn, snow blindness, reflection from water also the beach, and concrete.  

UVC (lower than 286nm) wear UV absorbent glasses especially if you work outside a lot.

What are the eye issues that can arise? Ultra-violet light is generally regarded as being harmful to the eyes and can result in cataracts and macular degeneration that is generally related to an eye issue in older people. Those people who have glaucoma or diabetes and those who require cataract operations also need to use protection from UV light. Young adults can be affected through sensitivity to glare.

Products are available for eye care. It is important to look carefully at the product information. It should contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin in a synergistic combination to provide protection of the macula. Select a quality product that should have at least the following information listed –

 Lutein 5mg Zeaxanthin 1mg per serving The product should also include Selenium and Zinc

Eat lots of red and green fruit and vegetables they will keep more than your eyes healthy!

For many years I have read to someone and I am very much aware of situations that can be difficult and/or dangerous for people who are sight impaired.

Have your eyes regularly checked. Just as we are told to get up occasionally from the computer to exercise give your eyes a rest from the computer and other blue-light appliances!

Love your eyes – take care of them!

Sources:

AMDF – American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Macular.org/ultra-violet-and-blue-light

www.blindlowvision.org.nz

www.brightfocus.org

ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/ultra-violet-and-blue-lightradiation/html

www.preventblindness.org