Factsheets Healthy Eyes
Seeing your way to eye-health
Advice for people with learning disabilities and their supporters.
Having healthy eyes helps avoid eye problems in later life. Healthy lifestyles lead to healthy eyes. People with learning disabilities may be at risk of developing serious sight problems in later life. Often people and their supporters or carers may not be aware of what steps to take to prevent serious sight problems like Age-related Macula Degeneration, Cataracts or Diabetic Retinopathy. It is also important to avoid eye infections and discomfort that can result from poor eye health care.
We don’t want to nag, but like lots of other organisations we really do think it’s a good idea to:
Eat a healthy diet
It really does make sense to keep to a healthy diet. Stick to a varied and balanced diet. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetable a day can help keep you and your eyes healthy. Research suggests that eating oily fish such as salmon and tuna twice a week can help prevent blindness in later life.
Mind the sun
The sun can be very harmful to the eyes. It can damage the inside of the eye, maybe lead to cataracts and make the front of the eye sore and dry. Wear sunglasses that offer ultraviolet protection and consider wearing sun hats. People with limited movement should remind their supporters about helping to avoid harmful glare or direct sunlight.
Watch your weight
People who are overweight may be more likely to develop cataracts and macula degeneration. Obesity very often leads to diabetes. Diabetes can lead to serious sight problems. Keep to a healthy diet and reduce how much alcohol you drink.
Having a healthy life style increases our circulation and maintains a healthy body. Healthy eyes need good circulation.
Remember hay fever and allergies
Hay fever and allergies can lead to irritated, sore, weepy and painful eyes. See your GP and get the right medication.
Avoid touching your eyes
Try to avoid touching your eye, or rubbing it too much. Go to the GP if your eyes sting or are sore, if they a weep or feel dry. Some eye infections are easily passed from person to person. Carers might need to check that a persons eye lashes are not rubbing the eye, these can sores that can be very painful. Carers and people with learning disabilities often need to keep their hands and fingernails clean.
Give up smoking
Smokers are three to four times more likely to develop sight loss in later life. Smoking is linked to age-related macula degeneration and is linked to cataracts. Smoking can irritate eyes and lead to sore and inflamed eyes.
Have Regular Checks
Visit an optometrist or optician every two years, or more if advised. If you have any worries about your sight or eyes, or if you have relatives with sight problems such as Glaucoma call your Doctor or visit an optician / optometrist.
For more details about healthy eyes and healthy lifestyles:
©Valuing People ClipArt
0800 0430 980
Eye Conditions that require Surgery
The Need for an Eye Examination
Eye Poking and Touching in People with Learning Disabilities
Eye Poking and Touching - Strategies for Supporting People
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