The Importance of Looking After Your Eyes: A reminder from St Ives based optical specialists, EyeSpecs
March 1, 2023

Lockdown meant restricted access to healthcare services, and eyecare was no exception. When Covid rules were relaxed for the first time, high-street ophthalmic opticians witnessed a rush of people wanting sight tests. But not everyone is diligent when it comes to their vision, even if they are having problems or experiencing headaches or eye strain. Home working and extra ‘screen time’ has meant our eyes have had to work harder. What if this extra pressure means that I now need glasses for the first time or if my current prescription needs to be changed?

Aside from eyestrain and headaches, having a regular sight test with an ophthalmologist could reveal other important things about your health. Common problems that eye examinations can detect include; diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, and certain types of cancer. A professional sight test will also help detect certain eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, which could lead to sight loss.

It’s easy to take our eyes for granted as we spend more time in front of screens and on various electronic devices. Exposure to the sun and tiredness through working longer hours will all put more strain on our eyes.

But a sight test is not just about major health problems, rather it’s about maintaining positive health through preventative care, and having regular check-ups. Having the right prescription lenses can make screen work easier, and enhance your leisure time by using your prescription for your sunglasses and sports eyewear.

So, with all that in mind, when should you go for an eye check-up?

The NHS recommends that adults have a test every two years. However, if you know that something has changed, for instance, if your reading or driving experience has changed, then definitely have one sooner. Your eyes degenerate over time. So even if you have glasses or contact lenses, you should monitor changes to your sight and arrange an eye test if you’re concerned.

Many of us work in an office or spend lots of time using a computer and after four-plus hours staring at a screen, our eyes can start to feel tired or strained. We might get itching or a dry sensation in the eyes, even headaches and difficulty focusing. It’s good to have a strategy to try and manage these issues, including frequent pauses, looking away from the screen, and making sure you are using lighting appropriately – e.g., no glare or reflection from the screen.

Your ophthalmologist will discuss all these issues with you.

There are two other important aspects of good eyecare – make sure you have the right spectacle frame; one that works correctly with your prescription. You also want to be happy with your glasses from a fashion or cosmetic point of view. Good quality, well-fitting frames are important, and an anti-reflection coating will improve your appearance and your vision.

Having your vision corrected can improve the quality of day-to-day life, so make sure you have your eyes tested regularly, and we can do the rest.

Once you have your prescription, come and see us, or simply bring your current prescription to us. We will advise you on both frames and lenses – for work, sport, or leisure. We will even be happy to give your current specs an MOT and clean, free of charge!