Guest post

To mark this year’s World Sight Day on 12 October 2023, the Sensory Impairment and Reablement Team is going to be out and about in the county. They’ll be talking about the importance of good eye care, and how the team can support those diagnosed with sight loss.

World Sight Day aims to highlight the importance of eye care and eye health across the globe. This year’s theme is eye health in the workplace.

Looking after our eyes is really important.. Sight problems can often be treated, or the progression slowed, if diagnosed early.

To hear from the Sensory Team about eye care, and to find out how they can support those diagnosed with sight loss, why not pay them a visit.

Where you can find the team:

  • Crowborough Library – 9 October, 12.30pm – 5pm
  • Hastings Library – 10 October, 10am – 1pm
  • Eastbourne Blind Society 12 October, 10am – 4pm (124 – 142 Longstone Road, Eastbourne, BN22 8DA)

You can also apply online for help from the team if you’re diagnosed with sight loss: Sensory impairment assessment.

Top tips to look after your eyes

Get them checked

It’s important to get your eyes checked regularly by an optometrist. An eye examination can pick up the first signs of an eye condition, even before you notice any changes to your vision. Some people are entitled to a free NHS sight test and help with the cost of glasses, for example if you’re:

  • under 16
  • over 60
  • have diabetes or glaucoma
  • or receive certain benefits

Find out who can get a free eye test on the NHS.

Stop smoking

Smoking can cause and worsen a number of eye conditions. According to RNIB, smoking doubles the chance of losing your sight. Get support to go smokefree from One You East Sussex, and join the thousands quitting this Stoptober.

Eat well and stay active

A healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is important to keep our bodies healthy, including our eyes. Poor diet can worsen things like cataracts. Obesity may be a risk factor for many eye conditions, and can increases the risk of developing diabetes, which in turn can damage your eyes.

Shield them

Always make sure you have the right protective eye equipment for anything that poses a risk of injury to the eye, like DIY or activities at work. It’s also important to protect them from the sun, as excessive sun exposure can damage your eyesight and worsen things like cataracts. It’s best to opt for sunglasses marked with UV400 as these block out harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Take a break

Looking at anything for a long time can cause eye strain, which can be uncomfortable. Prolonged use of digital screens is a common cause of eye strain, so make sure to take regular breaks from your screen . Use the 20:20:20 rule – take a small break every 20 minutes to focus your eyes on something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.  It’s also helpful to wear your glasses if you have them and reduce glare and bright lights. Your screen should be around 50 to 70 cm away from your eyes, and about 15 degrees below eye level.

Find out more about World Sight Day!