Dare to Care: Raising awareness of the importance of healthy eyes
Worcester Standard: 13 October 2022
Eye Care Awareness Month is celebrated from 21 September to 18 October to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eyes and specifically the prevention and treatment of blindness that could have been avoided. World Sight Day forms a crucial part of Eye Care Awareness Month and takes place on 13 October. This World Sight Day, let’s pledge to love our eyes!
According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision or blindness. Reduced or absent eyesight can have major and long-lasting effects on all aspects of life, including daily personal activities, interacting with the community, school and work opportunities and the ability to access public services. Luckily there are numerous and easy things you can do to look after one of your greatest assets – prevention is better than cure after all!
- Wear sunglasses: The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
- Eat sunshine-coloured foods: Egg yolks and a wide range of orange or yellow vegetables, including carrots and squash, are good sources of zeaxanthin and lutein.
- Quit smoking: Smoking reduces the blood flow to your eyes and increases your risk of getting cataracts, macular degeneration, and damage to your optic nerve.
- Know your history: Many eye diseases are hereditary. Talk to family members about their eye health history.
- Observe the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer monitor and fix your gaze on an object that’s at least 6m away from you. Blink 20 successive times to prevent eye dryness. Every 20 minutes get out of your seat and take 20 steps.
When you consider that over 80% of the information that you take in from the world is through your eyes, the importance of their health cannot be overlooked. When was the last time you had an eye exam? Your family, friends, and colleagues? 75% of all cases of blindness is avoidable either through prevention or treatment – which is why it is important to get your eyes tested at least once per year. During Eye Care Awareness Month, several optometrists are offering free screening tests. Show your eyes some love and contact Van Eeden & Le Roux Optometrists (023 342 5827) to make an appointment for your free screening test.
Sharon Goosen, Innovation for the Blind’s Orientation and Mobility Practitioner and Low Vision Consultant, offers the following services:
- Services aimed at persons with Low Vision: Demonstration of low vision assistive devices and a discussion on the needs of people with partial sight. This presentation is aimed at people with visual loss as well as people who support or work with them. It includes assessments of individual needs and recommendations regarding appropriate assistive devices.
- Services aimed at the Blind: Orientation and mobility at your home; long cane training/assessment; independence training; staff training; assessment of accessibility in the workplace and demonstration of devices in the workplace.
- Services aimed at the Community: Outreaches to retirement villages and old age homes to provide information pertaining to our low vision services and support programmes.
For more information contact Sharon at: email@example.com | 023 347 2745 | 072 277 3306