Eye Care Advice to Protect Your Vision

By Jeff Goodhew

We asked optometrist Jeff Goodhew for the latest advice on protecting your eyes.

Eye Care Advice to Protect Your Vision
photo: istock

What level UV protection should I look for when buying sunglasses?
You can’t tell how much UV protection sunglasses have by their price, colour or the darkness of their lenses. Sunglasses sold in Australia and New Zealand must be tested and labelled according to the AS/NZS standard 1067:2003. Look for a lens category of at least 2, but preferably 3.

What’s your advice to people who spend a lot of time in front of computers, tablets and smartphones?
We recommend following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet (6.1 m) away for 20 seconds. This helps reset the focus of the eye and reduce eye strain.

Is there a ‘bad habit’ your patients have that you wish they would stop?
I would like to see more patients getting regular eye examinations. Most people assume that their eyes must be perfect if they can see well, but 20/20 vision is only one aspect of an exam. Your eyes are also windows to your health and an eye exam can reveal a number of issues, from type 2 diabetes to eye cancer to high blood pressure.

How often should you have an eye exam?
Children Their first eye examination should be between six and 12 months of age, again at three and then every year once school begins.
Adults At least once every two years, but yearly exams for those who wear contact lenses or are at risk of developing diabetes, hypertension or thyroid disease.
65 plus Annual eye exams are recommended for age-related eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma.

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