The past year has definitely changed the way we see things. That is, how clear is your actual vision? They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but you will be surprised how much they can actually reveal.
So where do you start when you want to clear up your vision? After all, the last thing you want to do is make things more blurry. Fortunately, Longevity has launched LIVE Wellness Wednesdays – a weekly Instagram interview at 7:00 p.m. SAST, moderated by the founder of the World of Longevity, Gisèle Wertheim Aymés. Accompanied by a different expert every week @longevity_live. Gisèle and her guests will help you to take small steps with facts and points.
The series will not only help you clear your vision, but also enhance your journey to health and wellbeing.
Kelly Eekhoud: How clear is your vision?
Kelly Eekhoud is an optician and managing director of Spec-Savers, The Marc in Johannesburg, South Africa. Spec saver is a retail chain focused on the provision of optometry, audiology and other healthcare services.
When it comes to her job as an optician, Eekhoud addresses the health of her patients as a whole,
“I don’t just look into their eyes and see what their eye problems are. All of my patients know that once they sit in my chair they will go through a fairly extensive medical history, and I will make sure I have every foundation covered for their eye health and general lifestyle, “she says.
Your eyes are the windows to your health
With each exam, Eekhoud revealed that she began asking specific questions about her patients’ eyes and vision before moving on to questions about their general health, any medications they might be taking, and lifestyle habits.
Chronic health based on vision
Many people may not know this, but chronic health conditions can also affect your eye health. For this reason, Eekhoud asks her patients whether they are diabetic or have high blood pressure, as both factors can affect eye health.
“It’s a systemic problem of the whole body, but it’s amazing what you can see in the eye just looking at the retina and the blood vessels in the retina,” explains Eekhoud, adding that the eyes may be the only organ in the body are that you don’t have to cut into it to take a look.
“You can see the blood vessels in their natural state and see any problems from there. For example, especially in diabetes, you get areas of ischemia and bleeding, and you can see it in the eye and you can almost guarantee that it will appear all over the body. ”
Eekhoud also agrees that the same is true for high blood pressureas they can present themselves in very similar ways despite having specific causes and presentations.
It will be a four-eyed world
Have you noticed that everyone seems to be wearing glasses? It’s great that more and more people are becoming aware of their vision, but you really have to ask yourself: is the world losing sight of it?
According to Eekhoud, there are two factors that can affect the development of your eyes – genetics and the environment.
Your surroundings are a feast for the eyes
When we are born we are farsighted (a +2 prescription) and the older we get the prescription shifts to 0. In some cases, some people can go past 0 and become nearsighted, resulting in a minus prescription .
However, Eekhoud has found that children become nearsighted earlier than they used to be.
“It’s not so much digital devices in particular that are causing this change, but rather the focus that is close by.” Says Eekhoud: “More and more parents are giving their children their tablets and phones to keep them busy, even though this is “Great,” parents fail to notice that they are shifting their child’s focus within a few inches of their eye, and they are basically overstimulating the system, encouraging their visual system to be more myopic. ”
Eekhoud adds that as more and more of us are within a meter of our eyes, the eyes are now evolving with each generation to focus on nearsighted tasks.
“The problem is, we still have to drive our eyes to see things in the distance and make sure we can shift our visual focus from a distance to a reading environment,” says Eekhoud. She adds that as more children look at their devices, especially due to distance learning triggered by the pandemic, a major environmental factor is leading to an increase in myopia.
The future of our eyes
Eekhoud encourages parents to be careful how their children watch TV. Are you sitting too close to the TV? Do you turn your head to the side?
While you can test children from birth, parents will usually experience impaired vision when their children start using their eyes more, e.g. B. when they come to school. Eekhoud says you can always take your child to a children’s optician and that some schools even offer tests.
Do you wear contact lenses or glasses?
Before answering this question, it should be remembered that the starting point is and always should be an eye test.
“We need to understand what the problem is in order to give you the best options for resolving it.” says Eekhoud.
In terms of glasses and lens design, there are 4 different types of lenses (standard vision lens, accommodating support lens, bifocal lens and multifocal lens) and you will be placed in one of these lenses depending on your eye problems.
“Yes, wearing glasses has some disadvantages, but it’s up to the patient to decide whether he wants to wear them or not,” says Eekhoud, who mentions that patients who choose the soldier without glasses end up with unnecessary ones Pain and discomfort to be faced.
Unfortunately, contact lenses are not for everyone.
“Some people suffer from allergies and thus from dryness of their eyes and these people have to think twice before using contact lenses,” explains Eekhoud. She adds that these people need to weigh the pros and cons of using contact lenses. Eventually you put a piece of plastic in your eye and it will affect your eye health as it will cause additional dryness and it could be a little more uncomfortable too.
“The use of contact lenses needs to be evaluated to see whether patients can tolerate them,” says Eekhoud. “I also have patients who are extremely sensitive to putting something in their eyes, and I also have patients who don’t even feel contact lenses, so you really have to go through a trial period when it comes to contact lenses.”
While advances in operations that can improve eyesight continue, Eekhoud points out that many factors play a role when it comes to suitability for eye surgery.
“My experience with this is that you have to weigh the benefits of the procedure as it doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need to wear glasses as you may still need glasses for things like night driving or reading,” she says.
However, Eekhoud adds that if your eyesight is impaired and cannot find a suitable lens, then you should consider Lasik surgery,
“It won’t make your vision perfect, but it will improve your focal vision.” Even so, Eekhoud recommends consulting your optician so that they can confirm whether or not you should consider the procedure.
Shade your eyes
Sunglasses look great and fun, but should we pay more attention to what they can do for our eyes and less how good they look?
“Sun protection in South Africa is very important because we have a very high UV index and our eyes absorb a lot of blue UV light, which is very harmful to the eyes,” says Eekhoud, explaining that these UV rays are our cornea, retina and can damage crystal lime. She adds that some demographics are more prone to this type of degeneration, such as people who are more equitable.
So if you wear sunglasses, Eekhoud recommends using sunglasses with a very good UV barrier. These sunglasses are provided with a UVA / B sticker in stores.
Blue light glasses
Blue light is rays that are emitted by the sun, but we get them mainly from our electronic devices. Unfortunately, blue light can affect our health in a number of ways, from our sleep to the rate at which we age and our eyesight. Hence, it is important to monitor our exposure and this is why there is an influx of apps and glasses that regulate blue light.
“Blue light lenses regulate the exposure of blue light, but they don’t block it out completely because you need blue light to regulate your sleep cycle and mood.” says Eekhoud: “We don’t want to cut it away, we just want to prevent overexposure”
If you are looking for ways to improve your eyesight, could your diet be used?
“If you suffer from dry eyes, taking an omega-3 supplement can definitely help with dryness,” says Eekhoud. However, she adds that a lot of research has shown that dietary supplements can’t help prevent macular degeneration, but they can slow the process down once you’re diagnosed. In addition, there is also research that has shown that dietary supplements can also serve to speed up degeneration, so it is a sensitive issue.
Eekhoud recommends vitamin A as it is really good for your retina. So while Eekhoud can’t say that certain supplements can prevent things, they can definitely complement and support your visual health, preferably with leafy green vegetables.
Invent your vision
If you’re a big fan of makeup, could it affect your eyesight? No, unless you don’t remove your makeup properly.
“If makeup isn’t removed properly, it dries out the area and that’s dangerous.” says Eekhoud: “Even removing make-up with fragrance removers can cause allergies and problems.”
So what’s the best way to remove eye makeup?
Eekhoud suggests using a hyperallergenic makeup remover. Her favorite is the vegan-friendly one Chrissanthie eye cleansing foam.
Fogged up glasses
As we are still experiencing a pandemic, it’s important to put on the mask. However, this creates a somewhat foggy situation for people who wear glasses.
“I’ve seen how many patients wear contact lenses because they can’t stand fogging up on their glasses,” says Eekhoud. She advises using airtight masks. In addition, you can also buy lenses that reduce lens fogging. You could also fill an ice bucket with water and add a few drops of sunlight fluid to it. After that, put your glasses in the liquid and let them air dry.
“People think their vision is perfect, but in reality they turn out to be far-sighted and overwhelming their visual system. Even if you can see, we can make it so much easier for you. It is therefore important to have your eyes tested regularly. “
SEE THE INTERVIEW
The video interview with Kelly Eekhoud includes all of the dialogue from that interview, which you can watch below.