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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Five surprising things which can harm your eyes

World Sight Day

Five surprising things which can harm your eyes
© Yuri Arcurs - Fotolia.com
We've all heard the old wives’ tales about how carrots are good for your sight and sitting too close to the telly can damage your peepers.
But the fact is, sorry, Mum and Dad, there’s no evidence that sitting too close to the TV can cause any problems. And while carrots won’t hurt, high as they are in Vitamin A and antioxidants, they’re no magic vision food.
So it’s probably just as well that World Sight Day (October 13) is here to give us a timely reminder on why we shouldn’t take our eyes for granted – and what will and won’t actually damage them.
Here’s our guide to Five Surprising Things That Harm Your Sight:

Looking Pretty

Surely lending your mates a sweep of mascara isn’t doing any harm? Well, sharing eye make-up is one of the biggest no-nos when it comes to spreading infection. It’s not just a dose of conjunctivitis you could get: Some infections, such as Herpes Simplex, can lead to a loss of vision if left untreated.
Another big ‘don’t’ is keeping your mascara longer than the recommended six months – something 92 per cent of women admit to. Dr. Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser to The College of Optometrists, said: “Most women are either unaware of or simply ignoring manufacturers’ recommended use-by-dates [but] mascara can be a breeding ground for bacteria.”
And a final Top Tip? Even if you’re in a mad dash, don’t do a quick freshen-up on the Tube or in the car – scratching your eye with a mascara wand is the most common injury from eye make-up and can also lead to infections.

Going Gaga

Don’t leap to copy the latest celeb look. Take the trend for Lady Gaga-style contact lenses. Gaga wore the Manga-inspired ‘circle lenses’ - which cover the whites of the eye to make the pupil look larger - in her Bad Romance video. But the fear is the eye accessories, made in Asia and available online, lack quality control. New York optometrist Dr Assumpta Madu said: "There literally is potential for somebody to lose their vision within 24 hours from an infection."
Experts are also concerned about the craze for semi-permanent lashes so girls can mimic the eye-fluttering looks of stars like Cheryl Cole. Unlike falsies, eyelash extensions are applied directly to the lash with a bonding agent and can last up to six weeks.
In severe cases, the glues can potentially damage eyes, and repeated use can cause Traction Alopecia, a condition where the real lashes fall out and might never grow back.
Dr Blakeney said: “Our eyelashes play an extremely important role in keeping our eyes healthy. As extensions are such a new trend, there is little clinical research into their impact on eye health so we are urging women to take extra care.”
But if you really must have them done, only go to a reputable salon and follow the aftercare advice scrupulously.

Sun worshipping

Gazing at the big blue sky while lounging in the Med might seem like heaven. But it could be hell for your peepers. Sunlight exposure can cause cataracts and worse, optometrists warn.
As the NHS Livewell site cautions: “Never look at the sun directly. Doing so can cause irreversible damage to your eyesight and even lead to blindness.”
Wear good quality, dark sunglasses sporting the ‘CE’ mark and the British Standard BS EN 1836:2005, which ensures they offer a safe level of UV protection.


We all know eating plenty of fresh foods, steering clear of fags and moderating booze protects against heart disease, cancer and stroke. But it also protects against the leading cause of blindness, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Contrary to popular belief, going blind with old age is not a question of pot luck, over which we have no control. AMD is not an inevitable result of getting old, yet the number of people with it is set to rise by a quarter in the next ten years.
Smoking is a huge risk factor in contracting it – it doubles your chances - as is drinking too much alcohol. But keeping an eye on what you eat can stave it off.
Dr Blakeney said: "AMD is the biggest single cause of sight loss in the UK so it is concerning that so few people are aware of it. There are steps you can take to minimise your risk.”
A diet rich in leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured fruits and veg and oily fish may help.


Watersports are a great way to stay fit – but if you don’t take care you could be damaging your eyes at the same time as shaping up your body. Always wear goggles in chlorinated water, with UV protection if swimming outside.
And contact lens wearers are warned never to swim while wearing them – or even to shower or use a hot tub. The College of Optometrists insists: “If you are a contact lens wearer, it’s particularly important to invest in prescription goggles; microorganisms in the water may attach themselves to the lens and cause an infection. This can be extremely painful and in severe cases could blind you.”


From Yahoo Health..

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