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Eye Health

Eye Health

 

The health of your eyes should be considered as an important part of your health care. The World Health Organization estimates that globally 180 million people are affected by vision impairment. There are many things you can do to protect the health of your eyes and prevent vision impairment. Eye problems usually affect older people, with around 9.4% of Australians aged 55 years and older being visually impaired.      

 

At-risk groups  

People of all ages can be affected by vision impairment or blindness for various reasons. Certain groups in the population are at a higher risk of developing vision impairment and loss. These populations include:  

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,  
  • older people,  
  • people with diabetes, and  
  • people with a family history of eye-disease.  

 

Causes

The most common cause of vision loss and blindness is age-related degenerative eye diseases. These include:

glaucoma,  

macular degeneration, and

cataracts.      

 

Other causes can include diabetic retinopathy (which develops from poorly managed diabetes), eye injuries and refractive error.  

 

Maintaining healthy vision  

Follow these tips to help keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision impairment:  

  • make sure you are eating a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables and include fish high in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice per week (salmon, blue mackerel, sardines and herring),  
  • wear protective eye-wear eg. safety glasses or goggles when undertaking activities which may put your eyes at risk,
  • avoid or quit smoking,
  • maintain a healthy weight to help reduce the risk of, or manage diabetes,
  • wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays,  
  • reduce eye strain by looking away from the object (eg. computer) for 20 seconds every 20 minutes if you’ve been focusing on something for too long, and   
  • have regular eye check-ups and examinations.

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.      

 

Sources  

Department of Health http://www.health.gov.au/eyehealth  

Department of Health (2005). Eye Health in Australia http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/eyehealth-pubs-eyehlth

National Eye Institute http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/eyehealthtips.asp

 

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