Essential Tips to Safeguard Your Eye Health

Essential Tips to Safeguard Your Eye Health

April 5, 2024

Mr Mark Cahill, Clinical Lead, Progressive Vision


Schedule Regular Eye Exams:

Routine eye exams are crucial for detecting any potential issues early on and ensuring that your eyes are in good condition. Make it a priority to schedule comprehensive eye exams with an optometrist at least every two years, even if you haven’t noticed any problems with your vision

A staggering 75% of blindness and vision loss cases can be prevented when detected and treated early.


Follow a Balanced Diet:

A nutritious diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly those beneficial for eye health like vitamin A, C, and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, can help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and other diseases.

People with diabetes can have an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy.  If you have diabetes, talk with your GP or diabetes doctor about controlling your blood sugar and blood pressure. High blood sugar damages retinal blood vessels. That causes vision loss.  Register with Diabetic Retina Screen ( the national diabetic retinopathy screening programme to have screening photographs taken to detect the early changes of diabetic eye disease. Alternatively have an annual dilated eye examination with your eye doctor or optometrist. Get treatment for diabetic retinopathy as soon as possible. This is the best way to prevent vision loss.


Take Regular Screen Breaks:

To alleviate eye strain caused by prolonged screen time or other visually demanding tasks, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away. This simple practice can help relax your eye muscles and reduce fatigue.


Practice Good Eye Hygiene:

Maintaining good hygiene habits can help prevent eye infections and irritation. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes with unwashed hands, and always remove makeup before bedtime to prevent clogged glands and bacterial buildup along the eyelids.


 Quit Smoking:

Smoking is not only harmful to your overall health but can also have serious consequences for your eyes. It increases the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and optic nerve damage. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do to protect your eye health.




AMD- the number one cause of sight loss in over 50s in Ireland

As more people in Ireland live longer more cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are being diagnosed.  More than 100,000 people in Ireland are now living with AMD and it is the number one cause of sight loss for those aged over 50.

One study showed 7.2pc of people aged over 50 in the Republic have age-related macular degeneration. Its prevalence is highest among the over-75s at 13.2pc and affects 5pc of people in the 50-64 year old age group.   In AMD, a part of the retina called the macula is damaged.   Only the centre of vision is affected with this disease.  In advanced stages, people lose their ability to drive, to see faces, and to read.

If you have AMD, help and support is available to maximise your remaining vision and to help you maintain an active and independent life. Early detection is important.   An eye exam helps detect eye problems at their earliest stage — when they’re most treatable.

Treatments for retinal diseases

Eye doctors inject medication directly into your eye to treat certain conditions.  Diabetic eye disease, wet AMD and retinal vein occlusion are all conditions that respond well to eye injections. The treatment improves vision for many patients.

Progressive Vision is proud to be Ireland’s first eye clinic to offer a treatment for dry AMD. To date, treatment options for Dry AMD have been limited to dietary supplements and lifestyle interventions. The Valeda Light Delivery System (LDS) provides a direct treatment for Dry AMD.   Valeda is a safe, non-invasive and painless light based therapy.  In 8 out of 10 cases, VALEDA has enhanced sight quality.


Dry eyes

Dry Eye disease occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. It can lead to discomfort, redness, and even affect your vision.

Optilight is a cutting-edge solution for Dry Eye Disease.  It uses gentle, non-invasive light therapy to rebalance the natural tear production and improve the overall health of your eyes.


A cataract is when your eye’s natural lens core becomes cloudy. This can happen as we get older causing things to look blurry, hazy or less colourful.  Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. Eye doctors can’t predict how quickly a person’s cataract will develop.

Treatment: Cataracts can only be removed with surgery.  You should consider surgery when cataracts keep you from doing things you want or need to do.


Glaucoma is a silent threat to your sight. Glaucoma is a group of a diseases where the eye pressure rises, damaging the optic nerve. The most common type Primary Open Angle Glaucoma comes on gradually, leading to increased pressure and optic nerve damage. It’s painless and shows no vision changes at first. Early detection is key to preventing optic nerve damage.  Treatment is typically with daily eyedrop medicine to lower eye pressure.

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment describes an emergency situation in which the natural jelly in the eye (the vitreous) pulls on a thin layer of tissue (the retina) which lies at the back of the eye.  The retina is the most important part of the eye which turns light into electricity.

You might see flashing lights all of a sudden or notice many new floaters at once. These can look like specks, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision.  You might also notice a shadow appearing in your peripheral (side) vision or a grey curtain covering part of your field of vision.

A detached retina has to be examined by an eye doctor straight away.  The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye.

Retinal detachment is treated with surgery.

Squint and lazy eye in children

We may associate problems with our eyesight with getting older but short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism, squints and lazy eye are also common problems in children.

As many as 1 in 50 children will develop a lazy eye and 1 in 500 children will develop a squint. As vision accounts for 80 per cent of children’s learning, it’s extremely important to keep on top of their eye health.

The ages of four to eight are crucial in catching and correcting eyesight problems and eye tests provided in primary school are great for spotting problems early on.

If you have any concerns about your  or your family’s eye health, contact us on 01-213 5652 for an assessment.  It could save your sight!