By Alexa Kaczka
Although everybody's eyesight will begin to fade at some point, people should not simply sit back and wait for it to happen without doing anything to curb the process, it has been noted.
That is the opinion of Clara Eaglen, policy and campaigns manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), who explained that there are things we can do to help maintain our eyesight.
Her comments came after a new study published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology predicted that new cases of the progressive sight loss condition age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are set to rise by a third in the UK over the next decade.
Ms Eaglen said that nearly two million people in the UK are currently experiencing sight loss, and although our eyesight can deteriorate as we get older, it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing and there are things people can do to protect their vision.
She noted that wearing the right prescription glasses or contact lenses is essential, while regular eye tests, carried out least every two years, can pick up conditions such as AMD or glaucoma, two of the leading causes of blindness in the western world.
The expert added that a healthy lifestyle is also important to maintaining vision, even though some people do not realise this.
"Smokers not only double their risk of developing AMD, they also tend to develop it earlier than non-smokers do. However, stopping smoking and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to keep your eyes as healthy as possible for as long as possible," Ms Eaglen stated.
The expert added that by being aware of all the possible detrimental factors on vision, people can help to maintain their eyesight without simply accepting that it is going to fail and they cannot do anything to stop it.
by Adrian Galbreth