EYE, SKIN AND GENERAL HEALTHCARE RECOMMENDATIONS
Maintaining and protecting your general health, and that of your eyes and skin, can help reduce or delay your chances of developing a range of eye conditions that can affect your vision and/or confidence.
Here are some simple tips for protecting the health, function and aesthetics of your eyes.
- Skin cancers of the eye
- Ptosis (droopy upper eyelid)
- Chalazion (lumps and bumps on the eye)
- Entropian/ectropian (droopy or turned in lower eyelids)
- Watering eyes
- Cosmetic eye concerns due to ageing
So, what can you do to safeguard your eyes? Well, lots actually! And none of it is rocket science. Here are some simple tips for protecting the health, function and aesthetics of your eyes:
Good quality sunglasses that protect from ultraviolet (UV) light radiation will prevent or delay many eye conditions such as pterygium and cataract, and can also help prevent the development of skin and eye cancers. Australia has minimum manufacturing standards to help you choose a pair of sunglasses that will properly protect your eyes. Always ensure the lenses protect against UV light, and be sure to choose a lens that is category two or higher, preferably at least category three. A darker tint and expensive price tag do not necessarily equate to the best protection for your eyes.
Protective eyewear is imperative for safely using tools and gardening machinery such as lawnmowers and hedge trimmers. Hardware shops generally stock inexpensive but effective options - look for polycarbonate plastic that doesn’t shatter. It is also a good idea to wear eye protection when using strong cleaning products that contain bleach as these solutions or powders contain chemicals that can literally dissolve and melt the surface of the eye. If any such solution comes into contact with your eyes, immediately flush the eye with water for at least 5 to 10 minutes, and then seek urgent medical help.
Always wear SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen when going outdoors, and don’t forget to apply it generously to your face as well as your body. Sunscreen slows down ageing changes that can lead to cosmetic concerns, and protects from skin cancers, including those that can appear around the eye area.
Don’t self diagnose – google is not a doctor!
Seek expert advice if you notice a change to your eye health. The internet offers immediate access to unlimited medical information, some of which can be dangerous if considered in place of an expert medical opinion, and for this reason it’s important to take any concerns to a professional. If you do have a specific symptom or condition that is new, e.g. skin lump or blurred vision, see your GP, optometrist, ophthalmologist or dermatologist.
Know your family history to be prepared
Knowing your family’s health history can help identify your risks for a number of conditions, including those relating to your eyes and vision. Seek out expert advice on prevention, screening tests and lifestyle recommendations that will give you the best chance of breaking the family cycle.
Smoking is associated with many conditions leading to loss of vision. It accelerates ageing, which can go on to cause cosmetic concerns around the eyes. It’s not easy to quit smoking, but there are many effective methods and lots of supportive resources available. Seeing your GP is an excellent place to start.