first_imgDD HEALTH WATCH: EYE CARE: A regular eye exam should be part of your regular health checkup routine and it is advised to have one at least every two years.The Association of Optometrists Ireland (AOI) estimates that about 80 per cent of adults are entitled to a free two-yearly eye exam under their medical card or PRSI contributions.There are two eye-care schemes which are paid by the State: For Medical Card HoldersFor qualified PRSI contributorsSays the AOI: “People who hold a valid full medical card (not a GP visit card) and those with a Health Amendment Act Card are entitled to an eye examination once every two years, or more often if there is a clinical reason requiring this.”There was also an allowance towards the cost of spectacles that was designed to cover the cost of the most basic spectacles. However The Minister for Social Protection suspended payment of these allowances towards spectacles since the 2008 budget. They have not been abolished, but they have been suspended until further notice.Our eyes gradually change, especially as we age, so dramatic changes aren’t what we need to look for, instead gradual incremental changes are key. This is why it’s so important to have regular eye exams and take positive steps to protect your eyesight.Looking After Your EyesMore than half of all sight loss is avoidable when detected early and a regular eye test can identify early indications of eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, diabetes and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).If you are a contact lens wearer, regular after-care appointments are very important and will pick up any problems at an early stage.The following are other steps you can take to ensure you are taking better care your eyes: Diet – Eat the right foodsStudies show that what we eat can affect our vision. Certain foods are particularly high in antioxidants which can help to prevent retinal damage and certain eye conditions like cataracts and age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). An anti-oxidant which hugely beneficial is lutein, found in many fruit and vegetables.Foods recommended for eye health include:Broad leaf greens such as kale and spinachBrightly coloured fruit and veg such as corn, carrots, orange sweet peppers and orangesOily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerelBroccoliEggsLook at your lifestyle habits:ExerciseLack of exercise contributes significantly to several eye conditions, particularly amongst people aged 60 and over.AlcoholExcessive alcohol consumption can lead to serious health conditions which can have a detrimental effect on your eye healthSmokingAfter ageing, smoking is the biggest risk factor for developing macular degeneration. Smoking also increases your risk of developing cataract. Know your family eye health historyCertain eye conditions can be hereditary, such as Glaucoma. When detected early, it can be treated and controlled and therefore it would be very beneficial to know if this condition has been in your family history so you can be tested.Take care in the sunWearing sunglasses reduces the risks of damaging your eyes as a result of the strong ultra violet light from the sun’s rays. Check your glasses have a UV factor and carry the CE mark which indicates they meet the European safety standards.DiabeticsPeople who have diabetes are at risk of developing a condition called diabetic retinopathy and should ensure they have regular eye tests to enable early detection and treatment.Computer screen breaksIt is very important to take frequent breaks from your computer screen, at least once an hour to allow your eyes to rest. This will help to avoid problems such as eye strain, lack of focus, and headaches. If you have long documents to read, print them off and use to work alongside your computer.MascaraA mascara tube is one of the cosmetic products that is most susceptible to bacterial infection – the warm, dark, moist environment is the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish. Sharing increases the risk of cross-contamination, so avoid if you want to keep your eyes healthy.DD HEALTH WATCH: TAKE CARE OF THE WINDOWS TO YOUR SOUL – EYE CARE was last modified: April 26th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Daily Health Watcheye carehow to look after your eyeslast_img

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