Six simple sight savers

Galloway’s supports National Eye Health Week (22 –28 September)

Photo above shows Southport Galloway’s Fundraisers Emma Russ and Emma Wilson promote eye health

Southport sight loss charity, Galloway’s Society for the Blind, hopes to encourage people to take better care of their sight during National Eye Health Week (22 – 28 September) with the launch of a six point guide to healthy vision.

Emma Wilson at Galloway’s says: “Everyday life can put a strain on your eyes but regular sight testing and making the right lifestyle choices can help keep your eyes and vision healthy. We know that over 50% of sight loss can be prevented and this week is all about ensuring people in the Southport area do all they can to look after their eyes.”

Galloway’s Six Simple Sight Savers

1. Eat right for good sight. Most of us have no idea that what we eat can affect how well we see, however, eye-friendly nutrients found in many fruit and vegetables and fatty acids derived from fish, nuts and oils can all help protect your sight.
Vitamins B and E can help protect against cataracts whilst omega-3 fish oils help maintain healthy blood vessels inside the eye – research has shown that eating just one portion of fish a week can reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by up to 40% .

2. Quit smoking. Smokers have a significantly greater risk of sight loss than non-smokers. Toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the delicate surface and the internal structure of the eye. This can lead to an increased risk of many eye conditions including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), nuclear cataracts; thyroid eye disease; dry eye and poor colour vision.

3. Watch your weight. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30+ doubles your risk of suffering age-related macular degeneration  and significantly increases your chances of developing cataracts.

4. Get fit. Aerobic exercise can help increase oxygen supplies to the optic nerve and lower any pressure that builds up in the eye. Reducing intraocular ‘eye’ pressure can help control conditions such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

5. Cover up. Exposure to UV light increases your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.  According to the World Health Organisation UV damage is the biggest modifiable risk factor of cataract development. Always wear sunglasses when the UV index rises above three, even on a cloudy day.
Check your sunglasses filter AT LEAST 99 per cent of UVA and UVB light and look out for a CE UV 400 or BS EN 1836:2005 mark when choosing your sunglasses to be sure they provide adequate protection.

6. Be screen smart. On average we spend a staggering 35 hours a week staring at a computer screen so it’s no surprise that 90 per cent of us say we experience screen fatigue – tired or irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches and poor colour perception. Give your eyes a break by looking away from your screen every 20 minutes and focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

During National Eye Health Week the Galloway’s team will be out and about in Southport and Ormskirk promoting eye health and offering advice on living with sight loss.

They will also be holding an open day on Friday 26th September at the centre on Wright Street in Southport inviting people from the Sefton and West Lancashire area throughout the day to talk to them about eye health and try out a range of equipment and visual aids that may help people who are already living with sight loss to live a more independent life.

Emma summarised, “We know that there are over 9,500 in the Sefton area living with sight loss and that number is expected to rise. We hope that by encouraging people in Southport to look after their eyes and by asking people to book a sight test if they haven’t had one in the last two years that we can make a difference in preventing unnecessary sight loss.”

Anybody wanting information on National Eye Health Week or any of the services that Galloway’s provide to local blind and partially sighted people should contact the centre on 01704 809109 or email
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