Why is eye health important?

18 February 2013


We’re all aware of the need for exercise and healthy eating - they’re absolutely vital when it comes to keeping our bodies working properly and staying fit. However, there are some aspects of our personal health care that are easier to ignore, only facing them when we come across a problem.

Eye care is one such area, with most of us assuming that as long as we can see reasonably clearly then everything must be fine. While there are many ways that issues with eyesight can be corrected or managed (with medication, glasses or contact lenses, or perhaps even the slightly more costly option of laser eye surgery), clearly it would be preferable to try and prevent the onset of such things in the first place. Here are some key things to remember:

Most problems with your eyes will not cause them to hurt. Yes, you may experience headaches if you’re straining your vision regularly but your eyes themselves won’t hurt, so you may not connect the two things immediately. Some illnesses, such as diabetes and glaucoma, can impact on your eyesight and for many of us our vision will deteriorate over time as well. Therefore, having your eyes tested regularly is very important. The NHS recommends that both children and adults visit an optician every two years, though this may be more frequent in certain circumstances.

It is possible to diagnose many other illnesses - or at least to raise concerns - simply by looking at a patient’s eyes. The health of your eyes can potentially be used to spot issues as diverse as brain tumours, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and liver disease, as well as those conditions more readily associated with eyes such as glaucoma. If you are visiting your optician regularly, they may well be able to alert you to abnormalities and suggest you get referred for testing and in some cases this could, quite literally, save your
life.



Good vision contributes in many vital ways to learning and the development of other skills, such as those required for sport. A lifetime of undiagnosed vision problems can impact on your performance at school and work, delay the acquisition of fine and gross motor skills and generally impede your physical and academic progress. Whilst it might seem melodramatic to say that getting your eyes tested regularly from an early age could change your life, for some people this is actually the case.

There are a variety of statistics available about how we form our opinions of people in various situations (through body language and tone of voice, as well what we actually say) but everyone agrees on the importance of eye contact. If you are confident in the appearance of your eyes and their ability to function well, this will be evident when you interact with people and you will automatically come across as more open, friendly and knowledgeable. Avoiding eye contact, either because you don’t like how your eyes look or because you can’t rely on them to transfer information to your brain accurately, could unfortunately cause people to think that you are shy, uncomfortable or downright shifty. Luckily, you need never experience it, because if you look after your eye health, your eyes will look after you!

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