You are what you eat

With National Eye Health Week on the horizon, I am reminded of how my lifestyle habits can impact more than just my waistline

Fruits and vegetables

As we descend the mid-year hump, for many of us those green eating, more active and generally healthy habits that we part of our New Year’s resolutions will be nothing more than a distant memory – I’m not ashamed to admit that mine certainly are.

However, with a ‘wellness’ movement gaining force across social media and television, it would seem that not a day goes by when you are not reminded that you should be reaching for the banana over the biscuit, the cold pressed juice over the Pimms, and pounding the pavement rather than putting your arm out for the bus.

There are, of course, many benefits that come with following a healthy lifestyle, and, as practitioners, I’m sure you’ll be aware of the impact that those habits, both healthy and unhealthy, can have on a person’s sight. Yet, a large percentage of the public is less informed.

National Eye Health Week (NEHW) returns in September (18–24), offering practitioners the opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of regular sight tests with people in the community in which they practise, as well as inspire people to make lifestyle choices that benefit their eye health.

A message that is regularly highlighted by the national awareness week is the risk associated between smoking and vision. Therefore, while this work is still required, many will be pleased to read statistics released by Cancer Research UK reporting that there are 1.9 million fewer smokers in Britain a decade after the law banning lighting up in pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants.

Releasing the figures, the charity highlighted that the sharp decline in the number of smokers has seen numbers drop to the lowest level since records began.

To get involved in NEHW, of which the AOP is a support, register for a free supporter resource pack by sending your name, address and email to [email protected]