Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) accounts for 50% of all blindness in the UK. It affects 600,000 people a year, with 200 a day being diagnosed. ARMD comes in two forms: wet and dry.
The wet form is much more dangerous, causing a speedy deterioration in vision. ‘Unfortunately, there’s no cure for ARMD,’ explains optician Omar Hassan, head of professional services at Vision Express. ‘But there are injections that can halt its progress for some patients – it’s important to catch it early, as it can lead to significant blindness if left untreated.’
The average Brit only has an eye test every five years (rather than the recommended two), but as we age it’s more important than ever to have regular check-ups.
Cutting down on screen time
Of course, this is the age of the screen. Whether it’s TVs, phones or computers, most of us spend a good portion of our day looking at them. Televisions are the most commonly looked at, with 72% of Brits watching TV each day. Most people naturally blink around 20 times a minute, keeping our eyes fresh and hydrated.
But worrying new research suggests we only blink one to three times a minute when focused on a screen, which can lead to blurred vision, dry eyes and headaches from eye strain.
'Longer periods between blinking cause dry eyes, redness, a feeling of “grittiness” and blurred vision.’
Dr Sabrina recommends following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look away from the telly or computer and look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.