October 2019: Peter's Vision

October 05 2019

Healthy eyes

I WAS reading recently about eye health.  This is clearly a topic close to my heart, and hopefully as our sight is such an important sense it matters to you too!  During National Eye Health Week we were reminded that around two million people in the UK live with some form of sight loss.  That must count as a significant number in anyone's estimation.  Perhaps more importantly, it's estimated that half of this sight loss could be avoided.  How, well I’ll come to that later.

As a parent of young children I have a keen interest in the eye health of young eyes.  Around 1 million children in the UK are thought to have an undetected sight problem.  My concern is that if a child has a sight problem it can become an avoidable barrier to their development, learning and social interactions with friends & family.  A solution - book your child, and encourage all those you know to do the same, for a free NHS sight test.  We offer these six days per week, particularly Monday to Friday in our after school children’s eyes clinics.

So, how can we avoid eye health troubles? Well the saying you are what you eat is a good reminder about healthy eating.  Dark leafy greens, bright fruits, oily fish, eggs and broccoli are all on the healthy eating list.  Of course, don’t forget grapes, blueberries, avocado and papaya too!  I’m afraid there aren’t any sweet treats I can recommend although I know many of us are partial to the odd cookie or donut.  These just don’t make it onto anyone's healthy eating list! 

Although not as strong as our summer sun, it's still important to protect our eyes from the rays of the often glorious autumn sun.  In the autumn the sun is lower in the sky, so we have less natural protection from our eye brows and need to remember our sunglasses.  It’s an easy excuse really to keep looking cool in our sunnies for another season!

One of the key health issues affecting our sight continues to be smoking.  Many of the eye conditions we see are worsened by two things, age and smoking.  Although often difficult, one we can reduce, the other we definitely can’t.  No matter what we try and tell our children, they always seem to know exactly just how old we are!  One benefit that comes with age is that once over 60 you are entitled to a free NHS sight test.  As we do for young eyes, we offer NHS sight tests for the over 60’s six days per week.

You & your family, whether you have any sight concerns or not, are most welcome to come and see us for your eye care and glasses.   To arrange an extended eye exam or frame style consultation for yourself or those you love, please call 0117 962 2474 or 0117 965 4434.  Appointments can also be booked via our website, or just pop in to our practices in Henleaze or Fishponds and say Hi! 

Peter Turner is a Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol who also works part time as a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.