We believe that eyesight is one of our most precious senses.
We believe that eyesight is one of our most precious senses. We are an ageing population, and we therefore need our eyes to last us our lifetime. Here at Optitech, we are passionate about carefully listening to our patient's needs, ensuring our examination is very thorough and feel it is our duty to keep up with the latest knowledge and technology to provide this type of care. Our diet, age, genetic factors, environment and state of mind are some of the contributing factors to many of the eye conditions present today. Having a balanced diet, protecting yourself and your family from some of the environmental factors and having routine eye examinations could reduce the risks of developing these eye conditions. Below are some of the common eye conditions caused by the above factors:
High cholesterol/fatty diet: Surplus levels of cholesterol in the blood can deposit onto your cornea and block the blood vessels inside your eyes causing a ‘stroke’ of the eye. Recent ongoing research also indicates that a diet high in fatty acids could also contribute to the progression of a condition called macular degeneration (loss of your central vision) later on in life. High sugar diet: This can lead to diabetes. Often the condition arises without symptoms and routine eye examinations can detect early signs of this condition within the eyes. High sugar levels in the blood can affect the small arteries in the eye and make them ‘leaky’. Persistent haemorrhages in the eye could lead to permanent loss of sight. Cataracts (lenses in the eyes fog up) are also known to form earlier in people with poor blood sugar levels. One of the other symptoms of this condition can also be fluctuating vision.
Although we may carry genetic factors for many eye conditions, it is thought that we can delay or in some cases prevent the manifestation of many conditions by leading a healthy lifestyle. Some of the eye conditions that can be genetically inherited are:
- Myopia (Short Sightedness): This condition is usually due to the eyeball being a little too big in size or the lens in the eye being slightly too fat. The chances are, if your parents are fairly short sighted, you could also develop this condition. Our optometrists will diagnose this condition through a routine eye examination and provide general advice and support on its management.
- Glaucoma: Damage occurs to the optic nerve due to a variety of causes, a common one being raised eye pressure.
- Cataracts: The chances are that if there is a history of cataracts in the family, you have a higher risk of also developing them.
- Macular Degeneration: Although this condition can be genetically inherited, other factors such as age, diet and the environment also contribute to the onset. The good news is that there is tremendous research being poured into this devastating condition by our leading hospitals. The technology to detect, diagnose and monitor the condition has also improved significantly (see OCT). Also, the newer treatments available for certain types of macular degeneration have been sight saving. For others, the ongoing research is diet related and latest studies have isolated certain vitamins that could be beneficial. Our optometrists can discuss these with you.
Environment and State of Mind:
Our lifestyles have changed compared to our predecessors. We are now staring at computers for longer hours, multi-tasking throughout the day, creating higher levels of stress and often giving in to fast food and take-aways. Unfortunately this can cause a whole host of eye problems. Staring at computer screens can often cause tired, red, dry eyes. Intensive amounts of computer and close work has also been considered a contributing factor to myopia. Headaches or eye aches can be common if there are small, uncorrected visual problems when the eyes are being pushed to work for you. During your examination, our optometrist will take into account your lifestyle and discuss your visual management.
Even the most conscientious of us find it a challenge to find food that has not been genetically modified, without artificial preservatives, colourings, raised levels of sugar and salt. Most of us are also guilty of drinking far less water than we should.
Poor diet and dehydration leads to vitamin deficiencies and toxin accumulation causing general health and eye conditions. We all know we should eat our carrots for our Vitamin A, but research now indicates that a diet rich in dark leafy green vegetables, oily fish, fresh fruit and following the mantra ‘drink plenty of water’ could also help maintain the health our eyes. With rising ultraviolet levels (UV) around the world we are quite aware of the effects of the harmful rays on our skin and most of us pack a bottle of suncream for our holidays. However, exposure to UV is also known to cause cancers of the eyelid, thickening/ yellowing of our conjunctiva (skin on the white of our eye), early cataracts and degeneration of the macula (central vision). It is therefore very important to wear a large pair of sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Most of our contact lenses have a UV block to help protect the internal part of the eye. Our qualified staff will advise you on the best type of protective eyewear for you and your family.
Maintaining our eyes should be our responsibility. Without our sight, we become dependent on other people. It just takes a little background knowledge, application of a healthy positive lifestyle and trust in your healthcare professional to protect this precious gift of sight.
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