Did you know that 50% of sight loss is preventable but not necessarily treatable? With the mission of catching certain eye conditions while they’re still treatable, Croydon Vision recently ran a pop-up stall at The Whitgift Centre, offering free eye health checks and advice. And the uptake from our local community was huge.
The last week of September is heralded across the country as National Eye Health Week, so it was a great opportunity for Croydon Vision to team up with The
Wellness Centre, which operates at The Whitgift Centre, to reach out to local residents.
“Eye health is often neglected,” warns Fiona Hazel, a Croydon-based optometrist, who took part in the eye health event. "You go to the dentist, to the GP but most people do not think of going to the optician unless they are having problems with reading. I was so glad we were there.”
Why Croydon needs to focus on eye health…
“Certain eye conditions, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, are
disproportionately high in Croydon, which can be linked to our ethnic diversity,”
explains Odette Battarel, Croydon Vision’s Community Dynamo. This is
particularly acute for people of Caribbean descent, for whom developing
Glaucoma is eight times more likely. “Fortunately, there’s a simple, non-invasive
test to find out whether you might be at risk, which can be conducted by an
optometrist like Fiona.”
People were caught just in time.
More than 40 of these free tests were conducted on local residents, as people
came together to share eye health tips with Croydon’ Vision’s staff and volunteers
– and it was a good job they were there. The testing conducted by the Croydon
Vision team resulted in a number of eye pressure results that indicated people
were in need of an eye hospital referral for preventative treatment.
Raising awareness AND Vitamin A intake…
Besides serving up vitamin A-rich blueberry and carrot juice and catching several
suspected cases of early Glaucoma, Croydon Vision were able to assist people
who had questions about dry eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinopathy
and much more.
People were asking not just on behalf of themselves, but family members as well.
If you or someone you know is living with a visual impairment do get in touch with
Croydon Vision (croydonvision.org.uk). As Croydon’s premier sight loss charity,
they are always looking to support and empower members of our community
who are living with sight loss.
Five ways to give your eye health a boost…
In the spirit of National Eye Health Week and this hugely popular and successful
initiative, we wanted to share some quick easy hacks to help you safeguard your
Vitamin A-rich foods: Carrots are famed for being good for eyesight, but
blueberry juice is also rich in vitamin A, which can give your eye health a boost.
The 20-20-20 Rule: Experts recommend that for every 20 minutes you spend
looking at a screen, you should look at something 20 meters away for a minimum
of 20 seconds.
Eye Yoga: Croydon Vision has produced a video of fun, desk-friendly eye exercises
that can promote good eye health. Visit https://youtu.be/6SiwjbFrZVQ to give
them a go.
Ditch Old Mascara: Bacteria can build up in out-of-date products, so ensure you
check make-up for its Period After Opening (PAO) symbol, which tells you how
many months you can use it before it needs to be replaced.
Test Regularly: There’s no substitute for eye tests, so ensure you get your eyes
checked regularly to stay on top of your eye health.