One in four people reveal they never or rarely protect their eyes from the sun, despite 83 per cent saying sight is their most important sense, according to a new survey carried out on behalf of the charity Sightsavers which works to eradicate blindness globally.
The poll of 2000 UK residents found that 20 per cent admitted to wearing shades simply to look good, rather than to protect their eyes and one in 10 admitted they specifically wear shades for social media pictures and dating sites as they feel they look better when sporting sunglasses.
Director of Major Giving, Mike Straney at Sightsavers said: “Our findings on eye protection habits among the public were very revealing. It’s clear that sight is certainly valued with such a large number saying they consider it their most precious sense but with 1 in 4 not protecting their eyes from the sun enough, we want to encourage more people to take better care of their sight and not take it for granted.”
Sightsavers give their top tips to protect your sight:
· Schedule regular eye exams for you and your whole family. An annual comprehensive eye examination can detect serious problems like diabetes before you even know they exist.
· Wear sunglasses – they’re not just for fashion or rock stars! Sunglasses play an important role in protecting your eyes from powerful UV sun rays – even on cloudy days.
· Be active: regular exercise can delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of permanent vision loss later in life
· Rest your eyes – these days our eyes work even hard than in previous generations due to modern technology. Sightsavers’ ophthalmologists advise resting your eyes at least once every 20 minutes while you’re using a cell phone, tablet or computer
· Eat your greens – a diet rich in fruits, leafy vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce your risk of dry eyes, macular degeneration, glaucoma and more.
· Stub out the cigarettes – if you smoke, quit. Smoking increases your risk of cataracts and sight threatening eye diseases.
Sightsavers work in more than 30 countries across Africa and Asia, including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to help blind people to see again and to prevent people from going blind where possible. For more information: www.sightsavers.org
Sightsavers’ annual Specs Appeal is on now. To bid go to: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/sightsaversuk