Did you know that this week (16th - 22 September 2013) is National Eye Health Week? There seem to be so many weeks like this these days where we're celebrating something or raising significance of something else and it's very easy for them to pass you by un-noticed, but this is one that I actually heard being talked about first thing Monday morning whilst getting breakfast for the kids and it is one that does affect all of us, no matter how old or young.
So, back to Monday morning. As usual I had Radio 2 on and Chris Evans was doing his amazing job of trying to get the whole country out of bed and on their way to school or work. His sports presenter Vassos Alexander had been talking about tennis and discussion went on to when tennis players have to serve into the sun and just how difficult that must be. Chris asked questions about how they manage to do it and also how damaging looking straight into the sun must be for them. As the Breakfast Show often does they soon found an expert to talk about it and explain about the special sun-glasses style contact lenses that some tennis players wear to stop their eye balls being exposed to too much UV light. Looking her up now, this expert actually turned out to be Francesca Marchetti, Chair of National Eye Health Week and she therefore made sure that she slipped in there some top tips about caring for our eyes.
The thing is we have two eyes, but as yesterday's Ladybird Tuesday book (Light, mirrors and lenses) explained you need both of them to see properly. Imagine for just a moment that you lost your sense of sight. What would you miss the most? The ability to do a variety of day to day tasks independently? Being able to see exciting new places and things for yourself? Being able to drive a car? Or possibly seeing your family and friends? Being able to see your child's face as they come downstairs on Christmas morning? Or watching them in their first school nativity play? For those of us blessed with good eyes it's not something that I like to think about, but how much do many of us really, proactively, do things for the health of our eyes?
For babies and small children their eyes are a key way in which they learn about the world around them and it's fascinating to think about what they see and notice in everyday life. It's definitely not what we notice at all. As part of the National Eye Health Week campaign Boots asked bloggers to allow our children to take photos on their walk to school so that we could capture a kids' view of the journey. Unfortunately though it seems that the weather didn't quite get the memo and in the week and a half that we've been doing school runs it's rained for pretty much all of them! We've therefore adapted the challenge and just left a camera around for Little Miss C to use whenever it too her fancy to capture her world at home. I've included a selection of them here and they've certainly made me think about what it is a child sees in my house!
I know that with all the hours that I spend in front of a screen of some sort I'm probably doing a degree of damage to them and not allowing them to rest frequently enough and it's something I really ought to change. One thing that I am very hot about though is going to the optician regularly - to both have my eyes checked every two years, but also to annually check that my contact lenses are OK and that they're not causing me any problems. Also, it's quite common for your eyes to change a bit during pregnancy (all to do with fluid in the body I believe - but then I'm no optometrist!) so it's important then to check that everything is still OK and that you don't need a prescription change as a result.
If you've not really given your eyes much thought in the past then check out this site on eye health from Boots Opticians where they've pulled together loads of useful information for you - and also included a very handy link to book in for an eye test at your local branch. To mark National Eye Health Week they're also offering half price tests at the moment. What more of an excuse do you need? Don't leave it too late!
Disclaimer: I was sent an Eye Health Kit from Boots in exchange for writing this post and have also been offered a free eye test at Boots which I plan to take up very soon.