Regular eye tests are an essential precaution for those looking to maintain the best possible eye health, an expert has advised.
Richard Pakey, founder of specialist optical firm Independent Practice Growth UK, has highlighted this proactive approach as a great asset in tackling any problems that do emerge before they are too firmly entrenched.
He advised people to get their eyes tested at least every 18 months, although attending an opticians every 12 months would be even wiser.
Those who notice a change in their sight are also advised to get in touch with an optician earlier, as this will maximise their options if there is a problem.
Mr Pakey said: "You"d be surprised how many people wait months and months before seeking help."
For those looking to get the best information on the risks they face, it is also important to do some research on their family backgrounds.
He advised talking to parents and relatives to find out whether there is any history of eye illnesses in the family and passing this on to the optician.
In terms of preventative steps, Mr Pakey emphasised the importance of both food and exercise to minimising the risk of eye health problems.
He said: "Eat a good varied diet and try to keep your weight under control. Being overweight can increase your risk of diabetes which can affect your eyes."
Mr Pakey added that it is important to rest one"s eyes, especially where the individual spends a lot of time at the computer during the day.
He advised taking a 30 minute break away from the screen throughout work in order to reduce the impact this has.
Recent research published by Which? found that the majority of the general public trusted independent opticians more than they did chain stores when getting their eyes tested.
by Martin Burns