Modern Australian

Our Eye Health Today

Eye Health today is not what it used to be; the screen time that eyes both young and old experience on a daily basis has lasting effects on eye health and development. So the need to maintain and regularly check our eyes is more important than ever.

The process of getting eyes checked can be long and scary for some, as our eyes guide us through our day-to-day lives.

Today is World Sight Day; an opportunity to step away from our screens and give our eyes a break, but also an opportunity for us to book in an eye test with our optometrist and there are several reasons why.

With lockdown winding down, life re-opening and kids going back to school, the importance of checking eye health has become increasingly apparent.

The lockdown saw children across Australia learning from home and many parents can relate to kids using their laptops or tablets more than ever.

Whilst a necessary reality, this change has increased kids’ exposure to screen-time and could very well have impacted their eye health.

Optometrist Emmy Cui has a strong passion for children’s eye health and says, “According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 312 million children under the age of 19 have myopia, or near-sightedness, and half of these cases remain undetected and untreated.” This is a troubling statistic that could be lowered with early detection and treatment through regular eye checks.

While maintaining eye health for the young through regular trips to the optometrist is important, the same goes for adults.

Emmy has shared six key tips for maintaining healthy eyes:

  1. Go see your optometrist, especially if you haven’t had your eyes checked in a while

  2. Make healthy food choices – diet has a big impact on eye health

  3. Regular exercise

  4. Quit smoking

  5. Wear a hat and sunglasses when out in the sun and if you’re in certain occupations protect your eyes with goggles

  6. And importantly, take regular breaks from screens and devices

The reality is that we are in a digital age where our eyes are subjected to screens for much of the day, whether it’s for work with our laptops or playing a game on our phones.

The 20-20-20 rule is one that Emmy recommends where, “Every 20 minutes spent using a screen; you should try to look away at something that is 20 feet away from you for a total of 20 seconds.” This will give eyes a much-needed break and allow your eyes to recover.

Conditions such as myopia in children and presbyopia in adults approaching the age of 40, are eye health issues that can be diagnosed and treated through regular eye checks. Our eyes are used for everything, they’re an important sense that we often forget to check until a health issue becomes apparent and diagnosed as too late to fix.

World Sight Day is about encouraging Australians to love their eyes and is raising awareness of the importance of being aware of our eye health and having regular check-ups.

Sight for Kids is another important initiative that focuses on the importance of children’s eyesight and helps children globally who are struggling with poor eye health. Whether in Australia or abroad, now is the time to learn about how you can help.

Indeed, now is the time to get regular check-ups, book in with your local optometrist and start the journey to maintaining and ensuring that your eyes are looked after and as healthy as they can be!

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