The A-Z of eyecare
How to take care of your eyes at every stage of life

No matter how lucky we are, the fact is, as we age, our eyesight will continue to change, for better or worse. Often, the changes are so incremental that we don’t even realise their impact. Some changes can be good, such as strengthening our eyesight during childhood. Still, other changes can be harmful, such as macular degeneration. Either way, we must learn to care for our eyes through every age, from birth to our senior years. Luckily, at Optical Insight, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to show you how to maintain healthy eyes at every stage of life.

How to take care of our babies’ eyes

Good optical hygiene for our newborns is essential to prevent the development of eye infections. Newborn babies naturally produce a lot of mucous fluid to maintain the moisture in their eyes. The mucin produced turns into what we know as sleep crust. When left alone, it can lead to eye infections and result in vision loss. For babies who sleep a lot, it’s crucial we clear off the eye gunk.

However, as newborn skin is so sensitive, we must take extra care when cleaning their faces.

 Tips for cleaning away the sleep under your babies’ eyes

  • Before cleaning, it’s essential to wash your hands with a neutral soap to prevent infection.
  • Cleaning should be carried out with a sterilised wet wipe or gauze. Never use your hand, cotton, cloth or paper and tissues.
  • Never separate your babies’ eyelids when they are dry
  • You can use a physiological serum or warm boiled water to wet your wipe or gauze and gently dab at the sleep crust until it’s moist and is easily removed. Never rub or scratch away the sleep.
  • Clean from the tear duct to the outer corner of the eye, dragging the debris outwards.
  • Clean twice daily: once in the morning when your baby has woken up and once after the nap.

When to worry:

If your baby’s eyes are persistently and abundantly secreting the mucin and they secretions appear green or yellow, or your baby’s eyes are swollen or red because of the secretion, it’s time to make an appointment with your paediatric ophthalmologist.

Developing good eyesight

Good eyesight is not something we are born with. As parents, there are some things we can do to encourage our baby to develop good eyesight. These include:

  • Hanging a mobile above your baby’s crib
  • Giving your baby toys to hold and visualise
  • Placing toys within focus, approximately 20cm away, when playing
  • Encouraging your baby to crawl around
  • Talking to your baby as you move around the room to encourage their eyes to follow you

Keeping toddlers and children’s eyes healthy

Our vision develops over time. The first ten years of a person’s life are crucial in developing our eyesight and detecting any problems. When it comes to healthy eyes, early detection of any problems is key. As a result, it’s important to have their eyes checked by a professional regularly, every two years, from the time they turn three.

Additionally, when they are young, stimulating toys are particularly important in encouraging good eyesight and improving motor and hand-eye coordination. Some of these toys include building blocks, puzzles, peg boards, making beaded jewellery, drawing and painting tools and modelling clay, and a child-safe ball to play catch with. Make sure the toys are age-appropriate and free from sharp edges to prevent accidents and injuries.

It can be difficult to diagnose vision problems in children, as they tend not to be able to recognise and verbalise issues. After all, how can they understand that what is normal to them is, in fact, not normal? If you see your child doing any of the following, it’s time to get their eyes checked:

  • Frequent disinterest in distant objects
  • Squinting, especially when trying to focus
  • Regular head tilting
  • Holding objects very close to their eyes
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Poor hand-eye coordination

Common childhood vision problems to look out for:

  • Farsightedness (hyperopia) – when close objects are blurry. Your child might present with difficulty reading.
  • Nearsightedness (myopia) – Objects far away are blurry. Your child might find it hard to see the board at the front of the classroom if they sit in the back.
  • Astigmatism – this can cause both near and far vision to be blurry.

Finally, we can’t stop our children and teens from having fun, but we can protect them. Eye injuries are the most common cause of blindness in children, especially in sports. More than 90 per cent of children’s eye injuries can be prevented with protective eyewear. They must wear proper protective goggles rather than glasses or sunglasses, as normal sunglasses or eye glasses can shatter on impact and cause even more eye damage.

Taking care of our vision in adulthood

Changes in your vision are inevitable. Even those who’ve enjoyed perfect vision throughout their lives will start to see changes around 40 years old. Taking good care of your eye health will reduce the impact of the changes, but it won’t eliminate them.

Between 40 and 60 years old, you might begin find it difficult to focus on things up close. If you find it difficult to read a book or focus on a screen, it’s time to invest in glasses. Once you turn 60, the changes start becoming more drastic. At this point, you must take extra steps to care for the health of your eyes. Those who are older than 60 are more prone to developing severe conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. You must be aware of any changes in your vision and contact a specialist immediately. Early treatment can ward off many severe symptoms and repercussions of eye disease or allow you to avoid them entirely.

 Tips for good eye health at any age

Finally, no matter how old you are, here are some things you can do to maintain healthy eyes:

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins A, C and E and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Wear sunglasses that protect from UV when outside
  • Limit the use of digital screens. Take frequent breaks and employ the 20-20-20 rule to limit digital eye strain.
  • By being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Understand your family history

More often than not, people take their eyesight for granted. It’s not until their sight becomes noticeably fuzzy, blurred or worse that they begin to take the necessary steps to take care of their vision. Notice any changes in your eyes lately? Book an appointment with Optical Insight today.


How the colder seasons can hurt your eyes and what to do

If we embrace it, winter can be one of the best seasons of the year. Snow trips, hot springs, hot chocolate, warm soups, crackling fires and cuddling in front of the TV, what’s not to love? But, with the colder months come many pitfalls.

In winter, days are shorter and darker than the warmer months. Often, the lack of sunlight and the chill can lead to many of us being more irritable and developing seasonal depression. Moreover, with the cold comes skin-disorder flair-ups, colds and flu, that run amuck. Although many are aware of these downsides, a common shortcoming of winter that people may not be aware of is the damaging effect on your eyes.

How does winter damage our eyes?

1. Increased screen time
Colder and darker months always mean one thing: more time indoors. Unfortunately, in this modern world, there isn’t much to do indoors but stare at a screen. Whether you’re scrolling on the phone or binging a series, the increased screen time can cause your eyes to become tired and dry. Luckily, tired and overworked eyes, although uncomfortable, won’t lead to permanent damage.

Top tip:
Take regular breaks during periods of prolonged screen time. Don’t forget to use the 20:20:20 rule – every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away.

2. Heating indoors
The winter chill can often feel unbearable, especially as we age. Many of us use a heating system to heat our homes to combat this. Unfortunately, the heat generated can remove any humidity and moisture in its direct environment, including our bodies. As a result, our skin and eyes are often drier during the winter. Dry eyes can often make it difficult to perform our everyday activities. More importantly, if left untreated, severe conditions of dryness can lead to inflammation, ulcers and vision loss.

Top tips:
– If you can’t lower the temperature, try using a humidifier or opening the windows for a couple of minutes to let moisture back into the room.
– Additionally, blinking can help lubricate our eyes, so remember to blink regularly! Finally, if all else fails, try using eye drops to help keep your eyes moist.
– Those who wear contacts should consider switching them out for glasses when they are in environments that are likely to cause dry eyes.
– Drinking more water can keep our eyes and bodies hydrated.

3. Harsh winds
Winter often comes with stronger and harsher dry winds full of debris. Not only can the debris flying around damage our eyes, but the winds can cause our eyes to be more watery than usual. Overly watery eyes can lead to reduced vision and pain.

Top tip:
– Switch out contact lenses for glasses; these will be more comfortable in the drying conditions and act as a protective barrier.
– Wear sunglasses to protect against the wind and any debris.

Read our guide on how to pick the best sunnies.

4. Winter sun
Many of us think that just because it’s gloomy and we can’t feel the warmth, the sun is much weaker in the winter months. However, the fact is that the sun is much stronger this time of year. All the rain, snow and ice covering the ground during winter provides more reflective surfaces for the sun’s UV rays to bounce off. As a result, we become exposed to UV rays from all angles during the winter, and we are at additional risk of long-term eye damage during the colder months.

Top tip:
Protect yourself from the UV by wearing UV protective sunnies during the winter.

Find out just why UV exposure is so dangerous through our previous post.

5. Longer nights
With longer nights or darker days, your pupils tend to be dilated longer to let in more light. Prolonged dilation of your pupils can make your vision blurrier in winter than in the summertime.

Top tips:
– Eat a healthy balanced diet full of fresh leafy veggies to keep your vision 20/20 this winter.
– Ensure the windscreen on your car is as clean as possible, as the glare of the low-lying sun can make it more difficult to see and make it more dangerous to drive during the winter.

Eye exercises to improve your eyesight during the winter
We must keep our eyes as strong as possible during wintertime. Prepare for the colder months by trying out these eye exercises to strengthen your eye muscles and improve your vision.

Exercise 1: Palming
To relax muscles around the eyes and reduce fatigue.

How to:
Rub your palms together to warm them up. Next, close your eyes, place each palm on either cheekbone and cup your fingers over your eyes. Breathe deeply for five minutes before removing your hands.

Exercise 2: Blinking
When you feel your eyes drying out, try this blinking exercise to stimulate the oil glands in your eyelids.

How to:
Close your eyes. While they are closed, consciously squeeze your eyelids together tightly and relax them five times. Open your eyes.

Exercise 3: Pencil push up
Train your eyes to move towards one another or converge when looking at a near object.

How to:
Hold a pen or pencil at arm’s length vertically and focus on the tip. Keeping your eyes focused on the pen, move it closer to your nose until you begin to see double. Then, move it away from your eyes again. Repeat three times.

Exercise 4: Near and far focus
To train your focusing system to engage and relax properly.

How to:
Hold your thumb 30cm from your face and focus on it for 15 seconds. Afterwards, shift your gaze to something 6m away and focus on it for 15 seconds. Alternate between looking at your thumb and the object several times.

Exercise 5: Figure 8s
To help train the eyes to track objects.

How to:
Pick a point on the floor 30cm away from you and trace an imaginary figure eight with your eyes. Continue for 30 seconds and switch directions.

With the colder months well and truly here, we must protect our eyes from the season’s pitfalls. So, follow our top tips and try our exercises to strengthen your eyesight.

Additionally, if you’re experiencing abnormal eyesight during the winter seasons or are finding it more challenging to see clearly during the colder months, make an appointment with Optical Insight and keep your eyes safe this winter.


How to choose the perfect sunnies

Choosing sunglasses is more about looking good; it’s about protecting your eyes for years to come. To ensure that your sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory, here’s what you need to look out for when choosing a pair.

UV Protection
When choosing sunnies, pick a pair that offers 100% UV protection from all UV light – including both UV A and UV B rays – for wavelengths up to 400NM (UV400). Sunnies that offer this protection will have this written on the label.

Moreover, if you’re uncertain about the level of protection your sunnies offer, take them in-store and have them checked with a UV light meter.

Although polarisation doesn’t protect your eyes from UV light, it will reduce the glare of any light reflecting off bright surfaces, such as water, snow and roads. This will ensure that your eyes remain comfortable when outside and aren’t strained.

Some polarised lenses do filter out UV. So, for maximum protection, you can also opt for these.

Lens colour
Despite what people think, lens colour doesn’t play much of a role in protecting our eyes. Darker or mirrored lenses may not offer the same level of protection as light lenses with 100% UV protection. After all, the level of protection depends on the ability to protect against UV rays, not the colour of the lens.

However, for those with a chronic eye condition – such as diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration – amber or brown-coloured lenses can help you see better.

Size and fit
In general, when it comes to the level of protection sunnies offer, bigger is better. Research has found that indirect exposure to sunlight – such as from above or peripherally – can damage our eyes. So pick one that offers more coverage.

Additionally, choose a pair of sunglasses that fit comfortably on your head. The frames shouldn’t feel too tight, but shouldn’t be so loose that they slip and fall off when you look down.

Although they may not always be in style, for maximum protection, choose oversized or wraparound sunnies.

Sunglasses are the fashion accessory you should be wearing all year round. Often, a good pair – one that offers the necessary protection – can be a small investment. So, you need to make sure you love the way you look in them. Regardless of price, there’s no point in choosing a good pair of sunglasses if you never wear them.

Don’t forget the kids
Research has found that exposure to UV radiation, and damage, adds up over a person’s lifetime. But, more importantly, 80% of the damage caused by UV exposure occurs before the age of 18. So, when shopping for sunnies, don’t forget the kids. You can find sunnies to protect your child’s eyes from the time they are six months old.

Now that we’ve armed you with all the information you need about sunnies, head in-store to check out our fantastic range to keep your eyes protected all year round. Alternatively, if it’s been a while since your last eye check, make an appointment today, and we’ll get you sorted.

Looking for more information? Read our post on why sunglasses are important for our eye health.


Why is it essential to your eye health to know your family history?

The fact of the matter is no matter how healthy of a lifestyle we maintain, certain things are out of our control. Our genetics play a pivotal role in our overall health and our predisposition to certain medical disorders. This is particularly true for conditions that affect our vision and eye health. Currently, there are over 350 eye-related conditions that are correlated to hereditary factors. Therefore, understanding your family history plays a huge role in preventing and delaying the onset of eye diseases, as well as maintaining eye health.

What is a family health history?

Put simply, your family’s health history is a basic record that logs your health as well as the health your close relatives. A complete record would include the health information of at least three generations of relatives – including all children, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, grandparents and cousins. Your family’s health history can help health care practitioners determine a pattern of common disorders – both physical and mental – in your family that may impact your health. Once identified, the health care professional will be able to advise you on lifestyle changes or actions that you can take to prevent or delay the onset of genetic medical disorders.

How to record your family health history?

The best way to record your family history is to connect with your family members. Spend some time and sit down with family members or just start a conversation at your next family gathering. You’d be surprised what you could learn if you took some time to ask some basic questions. Moreover, ask enough questions, and soon enough, you’ll have more than enough information to see patterns and underlying genetic issues. If conversations aren’t enough to see the bigger picture, another great way to get information is to request death certificates and medical records of your deceased relatives.

Moreover, if you currently have an eye-related condition, ask your eye health professional if there is a genetic link. This could help you keep your family safe by ensuring they have regular eye tests and take the necessary steps to prevent the deterioration of their eye health.

What common eye conditions are linked to genetics?

Some of the most common causes of blindness and vision loss in Australia are correlated to genetics. But, more importantly, in Australia, around 90 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable.

Five of the most common genetically-linked eye conditions include:

  • Glaucoma – where the optic nerve, our eyes’ link to our brain, becomes damaged. Glaucoma-related vision loss often comes slowly, beginning with your peripheral vision. People with a family history of glaucoma are eight times more likely to develop glaucoma.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – an eye disease that causes your central vision to lose its sharpness, worsening over time. People with a genetic link to AMD are four times more likely to develop the disease.
  • Strabismus (crossed eyed) – occurs when the eyes are misaligned and can cause permanent damage to one eye if left untreated. Individuals are 65% more likely to have this condition if other family members present with it as well.
  • Myopia (nearsightedness) – is a common condition where individuals struggle to see objects further away. Children are 1.5x more likely to develop the condition if one parent has myopia. This risk is tripled for children with both parents presenting with myopia.
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness) – where objects far away are clear, but those nearby are blurry. Hyperopia is linked to both maternal and paternal genes.

Where we come from – and more importantly, who we come from – can tell us a lot about what’s to come. Although it won’t predict everything, understanding your family’s health history and sharing it with medical professionals can help prevent the onset of many diseases as we age. So, don’t put if off any longer; chat to your family members and tell us all about it so we can help keep your eyes healthy for years to come.

Make an appointment with Optical Insight today.


Why sunglasses are more than a fashion accessory

Summer might be over, but sunglasses will never go out of style A good pair of sunnies can do much more than elevate an outfit. The right pair will give your eyes much-needed UV protection to keep them healthier and damage free for longer. At Optical Insight, we’re all about eye health, so we’ve put together a run-down on when, where, why, and who should wear sunglasses to keep you in the know. When should you wear sunglasses? The simple answer is that we need to wear sunglasses all year round. Whether it’s winter, summer, cloudy or sunny, ultraviolet rays are always present. Sunglasses will help protect your eyes by preventing UV exposure. Who needs sunglasses? In short, everyone should be wearing sunglasses when they’re outside. They’re an excellent tool to protect your eyes from the dangers outside.

Why should we wear sunnies all year round?

The often stylish accessory does more than make us look good. A good pair of sunnies can:

• Prevent sun damage to our eyes

Although the sun brightens up the day and helps our eyes see better, they are not friends. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to a variety of eye-related problems. These include cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, pterygium, sunburn and skin cancer. This is because long-term exposure to UV rays speeds up or contributes to the onset of such diseases.

Protects our eyes from dangers
We should never forget how dangerous nature and the elements can be. Therefore, wearing sunglasses is imperative when we venture outside. For example, a gust of wind can easily blow sand and dirt into our eyes. Although tiny, these grains of sand and dirt can scratch our corneas and cause permanent damage. Sunglasses are a simple way of fully covering our eyes from debris and protecting our vision. Alternatively, they can also protect us from the snow. Those who spend any time around snow know that glare from the sun reflecting on the snow can be painful. This pain is caused by the glare burning your cornea.

• Help you see better
The right pair of sunglasses can do wonders for your vision. Not only will they block out glare from the sun, but they can make things appear sharper and more vivid. With such a beautiful world out there, who wouldn’t want to experience it to the fullest?

• Provide comfort
Wearing sunglasses has been known to reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines triggered by sunlight.

• Prevent the appearance of aging
The skin around our eyes is delicate; sunglasses can protect that skin from sunlight and UV to prevent the appearance of aging.

Are all sunglasses the same?
Not all sunglasses are made equal. When choosing sunglasses, we must ensure the pair we pick can also protect our eyes. A good pair of sunglasses will offer 100 per cent UV protection. This means they won’t let harmful UV rays damage your eyes. Moreover, selecting a style that wraps around your face will further reduce the amount of UV exposure to your eyes. Other optional but not required features include polarization and tinting. The first will reduce glare and make your eyes more comfortable; the latter is purely cosmetic. Additionally, if you usually require prescription glasses to see, you can invest in a good pair of prescription sunglasses.

Do we need to invest in a good pair of sunglasses?

The short answer is yes. Everyone needs to invest in a pair of sunglasses that aren’t just fashion-forward but are practical too. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses doesn’t mean it must cost you a fortune. Conversely, expensive sunglasses may not offer you the right protection. When looking for sunnies, you need to ensure they offer 100 per cent UV protection.

At Optical Insight, we’ve got a range of sunglasses at all price points that will offer you the protection you need. So come in store and talk to one of our experts; we’ll have you stylish and safe all year round.

Make an appointment with Optical Insight today.


Common eye conditions in children to look out for.

Healthy vision is imperative, particularly for children, as their eyes rapidly grow and develop. Seeing well is also critical for children’s mental and physical developmental stages. It not only aids their ability to take in information but aids in developing their spatial reasoning, coordination and memory. In addition, identifying any current and potential eye problems can minimise damage and ensure more effective treatments.
Seven common eye conditions in children

Around one in five children have an undiagnosed eye condition. Knowing about common eye conditions can help parents identify their children’s problems. Seven of the most common eye conditions in children are:

Refractive errors

Refractive errors include irregularly curved corneas (astigmatism), short-sightedness (myopia) and far-sightedness (hyperopia). These conditions can cause blurred vision and negatively affect your child’s quality of life.

Signs to watch for:

• Frequent squinting
• Head tilting
• Headaches and eye strain
• Holding reading material too close to their face
• Sitting very close to the TV

• Lazy eye
Lazy eye, or amblyopia, occurs when one eye is weaker. A lazy eye is often difficult to identify as children can depend on their “stronger” eye and be unaware of it.

Signs to watch for:

• Difficulty with schoolwork
• Difficulty with playing sports
• Difficulty with attention and focus
• Covering one eye to see
• Frequent head tilting and squinting.

• Convergence insufficiency
Convergence insufficiency affects the way eye muscles co-ordinated and near vision. It works when both eyes struggle to work together to focus on objects up close.

Signs to watch for:

• Difficulty with attention and focus
• Blurred or double vision
• Fatigue when reading
• Headaches
• Difficulty with homework and schoolwork
• Motion sickness or vertigo

• Cross-eyed

Cross-eye, or strabismus, occurs when the eye is turned or misaligned. When left untreated, it is a severe condition that can lead to amblyopia or permanent vision loss. Parents can usually spot this after birth or at two years of age.

Signs to watch for:

• An eye that points in a different direction
• Excessive and frequent squinting
• Frequent head tilting when focusing

• Nystagmus
Children can be born with nystagmus or acquire the condition from six months old. It is characterised by rapid and involuntary eye movement.

Signs to watch for:

• Rapid and repetitive eye movements from side to side, up and down or in a circle.

• Binocular vision dysfunction (BVD)
BVD occurs when both eyes are misaligned, making them struggle to work together. It can cause both physical and mental issues to arise in your child.

Signs to watch for:

• Dizziness
• Double vision
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Light sensitivity
• Motion sickness
• Stress and anxiety

• Paediatric cataracts
Cataracts occur when the lens of one or both eyes becomes cloudy. It is estimated that roughly 30,000 children worldwide are born with cataracts each year.

Signs to watch for:

• Difficulty recognising faces and seeing objects
• Cross-eyed children
• Cloudy pupils
• Involuntary rapid eye movements

Spotting vision problems

If your child has trouble with their vision, it can impact their entire life – from school to sports to playtime. More importantly, the issue with children having vision problems is that they can be difficult to spot without a check-up at the optometrist. The school holidays are the perfect time to check on your child’s well-being and general eye health. If you’ve noticed your child displaying signs of any of the above conditions or if you’ve seen their schoolwork suffering, it is time to book an appointment with Optical Insight. We’ll ensure your child’s vision is clear so they can enjoy school, sports and playing again.

To book an appointment or for a general check-up, click here.



We know the drill: new year, new you. It’s time for a fresh start – but with a difference. This year, join us in maintaining your eye health all year through to December with this quick and easy guide. We’ve put together our top tips to keep your and your family’s eyes in tip-top shape.
Get outdoors!

Getting outside not only gives our eyes the needed break from screen time but sunlight has been known to reduce the occurrence of near-sightedness. An additional one hour of outdoor time per week will reduce the risk of myopia by 14 per cent.

So, no matter the season, get your family outdoors. Go for walks, sit in the sun, spend time with friends, go on hikes, picnics or just head to the park.

Remember the 20 – 20 – 20 rule.

Every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s as simple as that, but doing this will give your eyes a much-needed break. This is particularly important if you spend a lot of time on a digital device.

Don’t forget your sunnies!

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. No matter the weather, if you’re heading outside into daylight, grab your sunnies. UV damage can lead to a permanent deterioration in the health of our eyes. Additionally, excessive exposure to UV can cause growths, both cancerous and non-cancerous, and cataracts. UV damage accumulates over time. So, protect your eyes from dangerous UV (and wild weather) by wearing sunglasses – particularly UV-protective sunglasses that wrap around. Pair it with your favourite hat for added protection.

Eat well to see well.

I’m sure we’re all striving to eat better this year. A healthy diet helps us stabilise our mood, feel great and see better. So this year, try thinking about what you can add to your diet instead of focusing on what you need to take away. For example, eating more fresh fruit such as berries, leafy greens like kale, spinach and lettuce, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, nuts, and seeds will help you strengthen your eyes.

Move more

Aim to incorporate more movement into your daily life. Exercise is crucial to the health of our eyes as it circulates more oxygenated blood to them. As a result, it can reduce the incidences of diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. The exercise you do doesn’t have to be vigorous or intense; just aim to move a little more. For example, instead of driving down the road to the shops, consider saving yourself some petrol and walking. Additionally, try parking around the block instead of parking at the door. Something as simple as that will allow you to incorporate more movement into your daily life easily.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water not only prevents any symptoms of burning eyes, irritation and dryness but will also remove any toxins from the body that can contribute to the degeneration of our eye health. Moreover, our eyes have a tear film that sits on their surface. Staying hydrated will help maintain his film and protect our eyes from dryness. Blinking also helps revitalise that film, which would otherwise deteriorate and cause blurry vision and dry eyes. So, this year, don’t forget to drink and blink!

Keep up with your hygiene.

It’s important we protect our eyes by maintaining our hygiene standards. If you wear contacts, don’t forget to remove them every night and clean them with a contact solution. If you wear make-up, don’t forget to throw away expired make-up, use your own brushes and applicators and remove it every night before bed. For everyone else, avoid rubbing your eyes and don’t forget to wash your face at the end of every day.

Wear PPE

It can be easy to forget how vulnerable our eyes are to lifelong damage. A simple accident can result in both minor and significant injuries. Minor injuries, such as scratches on the eye, are not only annoying but can lead to something serious. Significant injuries, on the other hand, can have life-altering results, such as permanent blindness. So, if you’re in a high-risk profession, such as welding, mechanical engineering, building or working with chemicals, or about to take part in a high-risk sport, such as squash, field hockey or lacrosse, don’t forget your personal protective equipment. Face shields and safety glasses are critical for preventing orbital bone fractures, foreign objects entering the eye and retinal detachments.

Don’t forget to take it easy!

We may not always feel it, but like every other body part, our eyes get tired. So rest is crucial to the well-being of our eyes. Closing your eyes (and sleeping) allows your eyes and brain adequate time to relax and revitalise.

Get your eyes checked.

Eye exams are a great way to check the health of your eyes. It gives your optometrist the chance to alert you to possible eye diseases, ensure your prescription is correct and help you maintain the overall health of your eyes. During your check-up, your optometrist will also ask about your family’s eye health history. Many eye conditions, like macular degeneration and glaucoma, have a genetic link. Being aware and informing your medical professional allows us to screen for early warning signs and monitor your eye health more closely. Moreover, regular check-ups also give you the chance to pay attention to any changes in your vision. Taking the opportunity to purposefully check in on your health will help you manage and identify any problems.

Don’t forget eye exams are bulk billed through Medicare. So, take advantage of this and book an appointment for the family now


Why UV is so dangerous to our eyes.

This year’s summer maybe wetter than normal, but it’s still coming. And with summer comes park picnics, BBQ’s, beach days and other outdoor activities. Spending more time outside can be so beneficial, as sunlight can have a positive effect on our health. Sunlight gives us the much-needed vitamin D, plays a role in our body’s natural-wake sleep cycles and prevent near-sightedness in children. However, with sunlight comes UV radiation and this can cause damage to eyes – including the eyelids, cornea and lens.


How is UV radiation dangerous?

Living in Australia means that we are exposed to a much higher level of UV radiation. This is because the Australia is much closer to the hole in the ozone layer than the rest of the world. It’s important we protect ourselves as UV can:.

 cause chronic damage and lead to decreased vision
UV radiation can lead to corneal damage, cataracts and macular degeneration have cosmetic effects

The skin of our eyelids is the thinnest of our whole body. UV damage can cause dryness, wrinkles, skin furrows, sagging, loss of elasticity and pigmentation

Lead to deadly diseases

UV radiation has be associated with skin cancers. These cancers are able to invade the eye and lead to cancerous growths.


Cause sunburn

UV radiation puts everyone, particularly children, at risk for sunburn. Sunburning is called photokeratitis and can cause temporary vision loss.

Lead to pterygium
•A non-cancerous growth that occurs when the white skin of the eye starts encroaching into the coloured part.


Protecting your eyes from UV:

UV radiation can cause damage to all our ocular structures – including our eyelids. Remember these tips to protect your and your child’s eyes as best as you can:

Wear sunglasses

• Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. They protect our eyes from harmful light and damage. However, not all sunglasses are the same. The best sunglasses – to protect your eyes and block out reflected UV radiation – are polarised sunglasses. Sunglasses labelled as category 2, 3 or 4 and are marked as a 9 or 10 in eye protection factor (EPF) meet Australian standards

Additionally, sunglasses need to fit correctly. They should sit close to the bridge of the nose, without touching eyelashes, and wrap around for side protection.

Wear a hat

• Pair your sunnies with a broad brimmed hat for added protection

Remember that clouds don’t block UV

• Even if you can’t see the sun, it doesn’t mean that UV radiation isn’t present.

Sunlight is strongest from midday to the early afternoon.

Never look directly at the sun

• This can damage your eye’s retina and cause serious injury.

Avoid tanning beds

• UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or artificial light can cause damage to your eye tissue, cornea and lens.

Remember that radiation can be reflected

• UV can be reflected from the ground, water, snow, sand and other bright surfaces.

Book regular eye tests

• Eye tests are the best way to identify and prevent any problems that may arise. With the Australian summer coming up, it’s important you schedule an appointment to make sure your eyes are in perfect health.

Summer is fast approaching, book an appointment today to make sure you are sun smart and sun ready.


Mental Health and Eye Health

We all know that leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent the development of eye diseases and slow the onset of naturally occurring, age-related vision impairments. But did you know that mental health also plays a vital role in eye health (and vice versa)?

How is our eye health affect our mental health linked?

Research shows that those suffering from poor vision health are more likely to develop depression and anxiety. In fact, one in four people with vision loss are currently experiencing poor mental health, and younger adults are five times more likely to share this. Although researchers don’t fully understand the correlation between poor mental health and our eye health, there are two current theories. The first is stress. Stress is a significant factor in both the progression of eye conditions and the deterioration of our mental health. As a result, this is likely the link between our eyes and our mind. The second reason researchers believe connects our mental- and vision- health is through neurological links in the brain. Some researchers believe certain mental health conditions have the same neurological roots as that of our eyes. As such, a deterioration in one is linked to a weakening of the other.

Moreover, poor eyesight can adversely affect the mental health of adults and children. In adults, losing your sight can exponentially affect your quality of life. Things you could normally do, such as driving, can be taken away from you. This can lead to depression and anxiety, particularly if you begin feeling like you’ve lost your independence. Additionally, in children, poor eyesight has been linked to social difficulties and loneliness, reduced mobility and the ability to take part in age-appropriate activities with their friends, and an increased dependency on adult caregivers. These factors can lead to depression and anxiety in young children as they can be overcome with a sense of grief and worthlessness.

5 tips to keep both your eyes and your mind healthy.

• Exercise!
Incorporating movement into our daily routine is key to keeping our physique healthy. It lowers the risk of dangerous diseases, including eye diseases, and it boosts your mood and reduces stress levels.
• Eat healthily
We are what we eat, right? We know that carrots, broccoli and spinach are incredibly good for your eyes and maintaining eye health. But did you know that sticking to a diet of healthier foods sets you up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook, and the ability to better manage stress?
• Share your family history with your doctor.
Both eye diseases and mental health issues can be genetic. As a result, we must share our family history with our doctors so they can help us manage the risk and keep an eye out for any symptoms.
• Quit smoking
Smoking has been linked to numerous health issues such as increasing the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. More terrifyingly, those who smoke and have mental health issues are more likely to die five years earlier than those who don’t smoke.
• Manage your chronic diseases
Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, can lead to irreversible eye damage when unmanaged. Not only that, but the development of the disorders can cause mental health to deteriorate.

We understand it can be challenging to manage your mental health when it starts to spiral, especially if it’s due to an underlying health problem. When you feel yourself getting out of control try to calm your mind through practicing mindfulness, learning a new skill, connecting with people, giving back, exercising or seeking help.

Contacting a health care professional for help should never be shrouded with shame. Instead, seek counselling, support groups, doctors, or if you’re mental health issues stem from your eyesight, come into Optical Insight and we can help you out.


Lifestyle factors that hurt our eyes

As our bodies age, so do our eyes. It’s common for older adults to experience things such as having difficulty seeing up close, distinguishing colours or adjusting to the light. Although this is inevitable, lifestyle factors can exacerbate or further damage our eyes and affect our vision.

UV Exposures

We’ve all been warned about the harmful effects of UV rays. They’ve been known to cause skin cancer, exacerbate aging and suppress the immune system. UV rays also harm the eyes. Just like our skin, our eyes can be sunburnt too. Moreover, UV damage to the eyes can cause cataracts and eye damage. Sun damage can occur in young children as early as nine years old and is magnified during summer or snow holidays.
How to minimise damage:
Wearing sunglasses during the day will filter out the amount of UV entering the eyes and minimise any damage caused by the sun.

Screen time

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that too much screen time is bad for the eyes. This is because it drastically increases dry eyes and has been linked to myopia in adults and children.
How to minimise damage:
We can do two main things to minimise the damage from looking at the screen all day. The first is through exposure to bright natural, UV-free light. The second is by following the 20 20 20 rule – that is, look 20 feet away from the screen for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.


Smoking adversely affects much of our bodies, so it’s no surprise it affects our eyes too. Smoking has been known to cause blindness through retinal artery occlusion and retinal disease.
How to minimise damage:
The most straightforward answer is to stop smoking altogether. However, we understand quitting isn’t simple. So, we ask you to do your best and minimise the amount you smoke until you’re comfortable enough to stop altogether.

Poor contact lens hygiene

We find that those who wear contacts can get complacent about their contact lens hygiene over time. This can lead to acanthamoeba keratitis, which can cause blindness.
How to minimise damage:
We ask our contact-wearing clients to please be vigilant about their hygiene habits. Practices such as topping up contact lens solutions with water and not changing the lenses in time create a higher risk of bacterial and fungal infections.

Poor diet

We’ve spoken about how our dietary choices can affect our eyesight. For example, a poor diet can lead to high blood pressure, which can result in vision loss. But, conversely, a good and balanced diet can diminish the onset of macular degeneration.
How to minimise damage:
Make sure you consume a balanced diet full of eye-healthy foods, such as blueberries and spinach.

Is it time to see the Optom?

We can never honestly know the damage that is done to our eyes on a day to day. The best way to check on the health of our eyes is to visit the local Optom. A general eye test should be conducted every few years; however, follow this checklist to know if you’re due for a visit:
  • You family has a high risk for eye diseases
  • Your vision has gotten visibly worse
  • Your eyes have become irritated
  • You’ve noticed some problems with your vision
  • You’re pregnant
  • You’re taking long-term medication with side effects that impact your eyes
  • You can’t remember the last time you visited the Optom
Are you due for an appointment? Click here to book with Optical Insight now.


Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top