When you look out of a window and see bright green fields and a vivid blue sky. Or you turn on the radio to be greeted by a soaring melody, it’s very easy to take your senses for granted. We appreciate the wonder of seeing and hearing, but we don’t realise how much they add to life or how much we rely on them until they start to deteriorate. The good news is that it is possible to reduce the risk of hearing and sight problems. There are solutions available to address signs of decline. In this guide, we’ll explore how you can protect your vision and hearing and save your senses.
Looking after your eyes
Some people experience issues with their sight from an early age, while others develop short or long-sightedness later in life. It’s very common for vision to deteriorate with age, but there are steps you can take to protect your eyes and promote good eye health.
One of the most important considerations for office workers and those who spend a lot of time staring at a screen is resting the eyes. If your eyes are fixed on a screen for hours, this can increase the risk of eye strain. Blurred vision and difficulties focusing on objects that are in the distance. You might also find that you are more susceptible to headaches.
To reduce the risk of eye strain, it’s critical to ensure you have the right eyewear if you have been advised to wear glasses or contact lenses, and to contact your optician if you’re struggling to see clearly even when you’re wearing contacts or glasses. Your prescription may have changed since your last eye test, and it’s important to adjust it if you notice changes. It’s also crucial to give your eyes a rest. Every now and again, look away from the screen, and try and stare into the distance. If you use a laptop or a computer on a regular basis, it’s also beneficial to install blue light filters or eye care software to decrease the risk of eye strain.
Most of us think about our diet in terms of body weight and digestive health. But the foods you eat can also have an impact on your eyes. Nutrients play an important role in lowering the risk of eye problems, particularly those linked to ageing, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods that contain essential fatty acids, zinc, vitamins C and E and lutein are beneficial for the eyes. Good sources include leafy green vegetables, oily fish, eggs, nuts, citrus fruits and beans. Eating well can also help you maintain a stable, healthy body weight. If your BMI is too high or you have a poor diet, you may be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when you cannot regulate blood sugar levels, and it is one of the leading risk factors for sight loss in working-age adults.
While many people will be aware that smoking increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory conditions. The risks for eye health are not as well-known. Smoking elevates the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. It’s not easy to quit, but if you do want to give up, there is help and support available. Some smokers find it easier to cut down when they’re part of a group, and it can also be helpful to explore treatments like nicotine replacement therapy. You can access information and advice through your GP or dental surgery or your local pharmacy.
The final step you can take to shield your eyes is wearing sunglasses on a bright day. The sun’s UV rays can damage the eyes. Look for sunglasses that have UVA and UVB protection. And wear prescription sunglasses if you usually wear glasses or contact lenses to read or drive.
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Eye tests and solutions for impaired vision
In most cases, vision deteriorates very slowly and gradually, and this is why regular tests are important. You might not notice that your sight isn’t as good as it used to be for several months, even years. Booking an annual eye test is an excellent way to keep tabs on your vision and to ensure that any problems or abnormalities are identified as early as possible. Eye tests are not painful and they don’t take long. If your results show that you could benefit from wearing glasses or contact lenses,. Your optician will provide you with advice related to your prescription. If you are advised to wear glasses all or some of the time, it’s essential to take this advice on board.
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Hearing health tips
If you can hear perfectly, it’s easy to assume that hearing problems will never affect you. The truth is that most people experience a degree of hearing loss when they get older. Some lose their hearing at a young age. In cases where hearing loss is not congenital or linked to underlying health conditions. It is often possible to take steps to reduce the risk of rapid or premature deterioration.
One of the most critical commandments for those keen to maintain good hearing for as long as possible is protecting the ears from loud noises. Noise levels that exceed 85 decibels can cause damage to the ears. This is the equivalent of a lawnmower. While going to a club or a concert from time to time won’t damage your hearing in the long-term,.
Repeated or prolonged exposure to loud noises can be extremely hazardous. If you commute to work via the tube or train, you walk through the city daily. Or your job involves working with power tools or being exposed to loud music, for example, it’s crucial to use ear protection. If you work in an industry such as construction, your employer should provide protective equipment and issue health and safety guidelines. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t have the volume too high if you’re listening to music, a podcast or an audiobook.
You might assume that you only need to book a hearing test if you’ve started to notice signs of hearing loss, but this is not the case. As hearing loss occurs gradually in most cases, it’s beneficial to have frequent assessments every 1-5 years, depending on your age. A hearing test is used to measure how well you can hear in each ear. If you do have hearing loss, the results will show how well you respond to specific pitches and frequencies and provide useful information about treatment options. In some cases, hearing loss is linked to treatable issues, including ear infections and a build-up of earwax. If there is no underlying cause and your hearing is getting worse, you may be advised to consider using hearing aids.
There is a wide range of styles and brands available now, and modern hearing aids are small and comfortable. Advanced hearing aids are also packed with innovative features, and you can even connect them with your smartphone. Signs of hearing loss to look out for include turning up the volume on the TV or radio. Finding it difficult to follow conversations, asking people to repeat themselves and struggling to hear when there is background noise.
There is a wide range of styles and brands available now, and modern hearing aids that are rechargeable are small and comfortable.
Being able to see and hear is wonderful. The trouble is that we often take our senses for granted. It’s not always possible to preserve perfect vision or hearing forever. But it is beneficial to take steps now to lower the risk of hearing and sight loss. Protecting your ears and eyes and organising regular checks can make a really positive difference.
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