Lets face it. Sometimes some of us can be a little guilty of neglecting our eyes when it comes to self care. We may even have picked up bad habits that we aren't even aware of. The reality is, that when it comes to eye care and our sight, we need to make sure we treat our eyes as a priority and that's why in this post, we're going to discuss the mistakes that you are making when it comes to your eyes.
Going out without your sunglasses - EVEN IN WINTER
How many times have you forgotten your sunnies when nipping out to the shops? It's ok you tell yourself, it's not too bright. Truth is that UV rays can cause our eyes damage that we won't notice until it's too late. UV rays can damage the macular (leading to issues such as macular degeneration), cause melanomas, cause cataracts and other vision problems. If you regularly squint in the sunlight, this can cause damage to the sight in the long term. Even in Winter, it's important to ensure you are wearing adequate sun protection for your eyes. Look for sunglasses that offer full coverage for your eyes, sunglasses that block at least 99% of UVA rays. Here at Associated Optical, we have a range of anti-glare and contrast enhancement glasses that offer protection for your eyes.
REMEMBER - Even on cloudy days, it's important to wear sunglasses!
Not getting your eyes tested (enough)
It's so easy to neglect your eye tests. Some of us don't really remember to book our eye tests until we notice a problem (such as straining to read the writing on the tv) but it's really important to pop a reminder on your phone or in your diary.
Ideally we should have our eyes tested every 18 months (sooner if you have experienced previous issues with your sight). Eye tests don't take up too much time but they really are worth the money you may spend on them. In the UK, some patients will even be able to get their eye test for free or claim back a percentage of the cost from their employers (Please look into this to see if you are eligible) Opticians are highly trained and continue their professional development on a regular basis so you know you are in safe hands. If you are nervous, your optician will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable whilst having your eyes checked.
REMEMBER - After having your eye test, put a reminder in your phone or diary to set up another appointment for a date your optician recommends.
Sleeping in your contact lenses
It can be easy to forget about taking your contact lenses out at night. Especially if you are tired. However, sleeping with your contact lenses in can increase risk of eye infections by between 5 & 10 times!
Make sure you wash your contacts in the correct solution and store them as recommended. Never use tap water to clean your contact lenses.
Whilst we're talking about contact lenses, another habit some people mention they do is showering with their contact lenses in. This can cause eye infections or in worse case scenarios - blindness. This is due to amoebas that can easily get onto your contact lenses and then transfer to your eye.
If you do wear contact lenses, please ensure you change them regularly. If you are a wearer of daily contact lenses, then please replace them on a daily basis and likewise for different types of lens.
You won't notice it on a day to day basis but your contact lens can easily harbour germs or dirt. Make sure you regularly clean them as recommended and replace them when recommended too.
Rubbing your eyes
It's so annoying when a stray eyelash falls into the eye causing pain and discomfort. We then rub our eyes to get rid of that eye lash. Whilst this won't necessarily cause any damage, if you are the type of person who regularly rubs their eyes, this can cause problems such as keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a condition where your cornea becomes thin. This can affect your vision. Sometimes this can lead to surgery.
Make up mistakes!
Again, germs and nasties can easily get onto our make up . When it comes to our eye shadows, eye liners, mascaras and brushes, we need to ensure we keep them clean and replace on a regular basis.
Make up brushes should be washed on a weekly basis to ensure they are kept clean. Replace your make up brushes every year.
Mascara should be changed every 3 months, eye shadow every 2 years. However, if you have had an eye infection such as a stye, we would recommend you change your brushes and mascara/eye liner to prevent any cross contamination.
If you would like more information relating to Glaucoma, Please CLICK HERE to learn more from The McIndoe Centre
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Unless you have experienced them first hand or have a loved one who has experienced cataracts, the likelihood is that you don't know too much about cataracts and what they are. Let alone the treatment available for them.
A cataract is clouding of the lens. Your vision can become blurred due to this cloudiness that the cataract causes at the back of your eye(s).
You don’t have to be a contestant on the Great British Bake off or MasterChef to make the most of your baking skills. By simply organising your kitchen and having the right tools, your next bake will be a great success!
At Associated optical, we feel that just because you may low vision, it doesn't mean you should lose confidence and stop baking.
The joy of reading should not be diminished just because your eyesight might not be as good as it used to be. Did you know that the lighting can make a real difference to making the most of your sight and can help you re-discover the joy of reading?
Reading is a past time of which many of us love. However, a lot of patients who are partially sighted say that their reading is less enjoyable due to their low vision making it harder and longer to read their books. At Associated Optical, we believe that with the right lighting, magnification and practice these three things can make a real difference.
So we have put together some tips from the experts to help improve your reading experience and make it a more enjoyable one.
eSight Eyewear is changing and improving the lives of people who are experiencing sight loss. You too can see the electronic glasses first-hand for yourself at one of our many clinics to see the real difference they can make to how independently you live your life.
Hundreds of people with sight loss have lived these moments when they first use eSight eyewear. In countless cases the glasses have enabled people to live more independent lives and there are hundreds of testimonials from people who are already using eSight electronic glasses like Brian Casey who saw his wife for the first time in 27 years.
eSight Engineers created a breakthrough technology, taking many years of hard work, investments of tens of millions of dollars, many patented innovations and much trial and error working with numerous legally blind individuals. The end result was eSight - electronic glasses that enable the legally blind to actually see. Today, Associated Optical are proud to say that eSight is the largest, most knowledgeable and well-funded R&D lab in the world dedicated to addressing blindness.
The three B’s is a simple philosophy for maximising the sight you have by enhancing what you are want to read making items appear bolder, bigger and brighter; with the correct training from a low vision professional , selecting the right products and making simple adjustments, can make a big, bold difference to how independent you are.
Electronic magnifiers are one of many product solutions which allow you use the vision you have more effectively. With the inbuilt features of a digital magnifier you can enlarge the size of text, enhance the contrast and increase clarity allowing you to see things clearly.
Fundamentally making the text you are reading appear bigger brighter and bolder.
Stay safer this winter with our top tips on reducing trips and falls both inside and outside your home. Each year, millions of older people fall and more than one out of four older people fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once also doubles your chances of falling again.
There are simple things you can do to keep slips and trips to a minimum. Be your own safety inspector and continually check your living space and keep on top of potential hazards by being aware of your surroundings. Ask a family member or friend to help you do an audit of your home to identify likely causes of trips and falls. By taking preventive measures, this will help with remaining independent at home and build confidence.
Prevention is better than cure. Make your home safer and get your eyes tested regularly.
What are the main causes of slips and trips?
If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking. Sometimes these types of lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are.
Provide advice and information for people in later life through our Age UK Advice line‚ publications and online.
Age UK Advice: 0800 169 65 65
Lines are open seven days a week from 8am to 7pm.
Suppliers of low vision aids, challenging perceptions and providing innovative solutions for independent living.
Tel 01628 600410
Disabled Living Foundation
Provides impartial advice on products and equipment that help with daily living. Some of the products mentioned in this article can be found on their website.
Tel: 0300 999 004
More people than ever have taken up reading since J K Rowling released the Harry Potter books and newly awaited book “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” is capturing the imagination of young and old and encouraging thousands of people to re-discover their love of reading.
However, reading is something many people take for granted, and when you can’t see as well as you used to, it can become challenging. With the correct magnification and lighting, reading doesn’t have to be something you used to do but something you can carry on doing.
There is certainly no magic when it comes to magnification but more science, Associated Optical are the UK partner of Eschenbach who have been manufacturing magnifiers since 1913. In addition to their outstanding optical performance, all products from Eschenbach Optik are impressive in terms of their intelligent combination of visually appealing exterior and creative design.
There are many different types of magnifiers on the market and it is important to understand what you want to achieve with said magnifier to ensure you make the right choice. Understanding this is very important as there are many providers that promise magical solutions that do not deliver due to poor quality and over promising.
Stand Magnifiers come in a variety of styles and different strengths of magnifications. These type of magnifiers usually have a built in light which means when you place the stand magnifier over the page, the text is enlarged and the light offers more contrast. These types of products are generally battery operated and simple to use with magnification from 2x to 12.5x. Remember, the higher the magnification the smaller the lens, which is something the user needs to consider.
How to Use Stand Magnifiers;
Electronic magnifiers offer something extra to a basic stand magnifier which is why many people have chosen to use the Eschenbach smartLUX Digital which offers 1.7x to 12 x magnification and can be personalised to suit your individual requirements. By placing the smartLUX over your book, the built in camera magnifies the text onto the display. You can choose to change the display to suit you; the magnification can be increased or decreased. With many other inbuilt features as well as being very simple to use; makes this a truly fantastical solution to reading.
Whether you are enjoying your favourite book or just need a magnifier to read a label or instructions, an illuminated pocket magnifier is an alternative option. For spot reading which is reading for short term use, these types of magnifiers are really useful and come in many different magnification strengths. They are very handy and fit in your pocket or bag, making them ideal to take out with you.
It doesn’t matter what you enjoy reading there is a different magnifier to help you. Whether it’s the latest JR Rowling book, a magazine article, letters or a food label; you can gain more independence and feel confident with the right magnifier.
Myths about magnifiers
When working with magnification devices, it’s important to understand this general concept:
Remember a magnifier can’t hurt your eyes but it can be very frustrating using the wrong type of magnifier and if you do not know what strength magnification you need it is easy to come disheartened and give up reading. Reading has so many benefits and by selecting the right magnifier, you can re-discover the magic and lose yourself with your favourite author.
Top tip; get your eyes tested regularly and if you are worried about your sight ask your doctor to be referred for a low vision assessment where an expert will assess your sight and give you support and guidance on how to make the most of your sight.
Discover more fantastical magnifiers at www.associatedoptical.com or call 01628 600410 for further support.
Associated Optical -improving the lives of people living with sight loss for over 35 years.