You won't believe your eye, it's National Eye Health Week

PUBLISHED: 10:10 16 June 2011 | UPDATED: 17:11 16 June 2011

AS part of Helena Romanes School's sixth form business challenge, students are solving real life problems for companies in Dunmow.

The Opticians on the high street was one of the companies to step forward to help the students gain valuable work experience. As this week coincides with National Eye Health Week, the students are urging residents to book up a sight test.

Written by Anna Turner, Charlie Udall, Chloe Dews, Elisha Savage, Frank Kirby, Jim McLagan, Laura Cossey, Ollie Field, Tom Hargrave and Ruari Hipkin

Vision really matters; you only have one pair of eyes. Once lost, your eyesight may never be replaced. Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don’t know the best way to look after our eyes. National Eye Health Week aims to change all that.

This week, June 13-19, is the second National Eye Health Week. Once again, eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK are joining together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.

Many organisations are taking part in this year’s national eye health week: participators such as Fight for Sight Eye Research which is the leading charity dedicated to funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease.

‘Simplyhealth’ deals with eye health issues such as how to spread the cost of taking care of your eyes and providing individuals, families and employees with optical benefits that help them budget for trips to the optician, so there’s no need for cost to get in the way of looking after your eye health.

• Why are eye tests so important?

An eye test doesn’t just tell you how short- or long-sighted you are. It can also reveal eye conditions that may be more serious, and some of these conditions, if diagnosed early, can be prevented from developing further. Regular eye tests are necessary in order to avoid unnecessary damage to the eyes caused by undiagnosed conditions. It is very common that eye diseases and vision problems are developed without us knowing them because, unlike dental problems, your eyes do not hurt when there is something wrong. Learning about it early on can prevent further damages, for example if untreated, glaucoma could lead to blindness. It is important for drivers as poor eyesight can break the legal requirement for driving.

• Who needs an eye test?

1. Everyone, should have a regular eye test, once every two years. Young children between the ages of 1 to 5 also need eye tests to look for common toddler eye problems such as crossed eyes, turned-out eyes, or lazy eyes. Early diagnosis of eye health conditions is especially important in young children, if problems detected early, sight and learning problems can be avoided.

2. People who have occupations which affect and use the eyes many hours of the day should also have regular tests (for example driving or excessive computer screen use).

3. Regular eye exams are also needed by those who wear glasses or contact lenses. Eye examinations can determine whether there is a need to adjust the vision grade of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

4. People who have a family medical history of eye disease or a type of chronic disease such as diabetes, then a regular vision test can also help monitor vision as well as watch out for more serious vision problems.

5. Those who are between the age of 40 to 65E need eye exams once every two or four years. Adults in their middle to senior age have a higher risk for eye diseases and vision problems.

• What can be detected by an eye test?

Not only eye problems like cataracts can be detected, but also other health related problems such as: diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

•Where can you have an eye test?

Any optician can provide general advice for eye health care home visit eye tests and general and DVLA eye tests. A standard screening takes 30 minutes and will include the important checks for Glaucoma, Cataract and Macular degeneration using state of the art equipment.

See you there!

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