Preventing sight loss

A picture of a child we support.

We care about your eyes. As well as working to improve the lives of people with sight loss, we also work to prevent avoidable sight loss. Here we offer some simple, but important advice, which could help to eliminate avoidable sight loss.

Regular eye examinations

  • Having your eyes tested ensures early detection of a problem and reduces the risk of irreversible sight loss.
  • Sight tests are recommended every two years up to the age of 40, then yearly unless you have a diagnosed condition that requires ongoing screening.
  • Eye tests for children under the age of sixteen, and adults over the age of 60 are free.
  • If you wear contact lenses, you will need contact lens checks in addition to eye tests.
  • If you notice any sudden changes in your vision, seek medical advice immediately.

Nutrition, diet and exercise

  • Eat foods high in vitamin A, C, D, E and Lutein, such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, courgettes, peas and brussels sprouts.
  • Dietary problems, such as obesity, bulimia and anorexia, can contribute to sight loss.
  • An active and healthy lifestyle with regular exercise may help to prevent avoidable sight loss.

Your eyes in the sun

  • Ultra violet (UV) rays from sunlight can damage the retina and the lens of the eye, so protecting your eyes from the sun is very important.
  • If you are unable to wear sunglasses, try to wear a hat with a wider brim.

Eye protection

Doing it yourself? Make sure you wear safety goggles. It is estimated that 250,000 eye injuries a year are caused through people not wearing eye protection when carrying out DIY.

Smoking and your eyes

  • Smokers are twice as likely to lose their sight.
  • Smoking can lead to the onset of a number of eye conditions.
  • Smokers, in particular, are more at risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of sight loss in the UK.

If you want to stop smoking, help is available –

  • NHS Free Smokefree Helpline – 0300 123 1044
  • STOP! Leicester Smoking – 0116 295 4141
  • Alternatively visit your GP or visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree 

Speak to your doctor

If you have any worries about your sight or your health, book an appointment with your GP. Leicester City's healthcare hubs provide appointments during the daytime, evening, weekends and bank holidays. 

The hubs are located in Westcotes, Saffron and Belgrave. For more information, please visit the Leicester City CCG NHS website.