Since it’s #NationalSaveYourVisionMonth we’re taking a look at all of the important steps you can take to protect your vision. IbisVision’s technology supports optometrists in making eye tests more widely accessible so that any eye conditions and health concerns can be detected as early as possible; but what else can be done to protect our vision?

Follow the 20/20/20 rule. This rule helps to focus your vision away from your screen throughout the day. You should take a break every 20 minutes, focusing on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Take care of your contact lenses. If you have reusable lenses, make sure you’re cleansing them properly to avoid putting any unwanted bacteria into your eyes.

Eat the right foods. Our eyes respond to the food we put into our body. There are lots of nutrients in certain foods that support healthy vision so we can make sure we’re eating the right things for our bodies and eye health. Staying hydrated also helps too!

Keep active. Exercise reduces both blood pressure and eye pressure which is beneficial for reducing your risk of glaucoma. As well as this, exercising 3-4 times a week can also reduce your risk of Age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Book your eye test. As mentioned above, detecting eye conditions as early as possible is vital with many conditions. Regular routine eye tests are important for your eye health and detecting eye concerns and other health conditions. It’s also just as important for anyone with children to make sure their eye tests are up to date too. Children are developing myopia at a very alarming rate and early diagnosis is essential to protect their long-term eye health so make sure to keep on top of your entire family’s eye health routine.

 

{Source: https://oregoneyeconsultants.com/10-healthy-eye-tips-for-save-your-vision-awareness-month/}

Every year we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th. It’s a day of celebration in many countries across the world and is an important time to recognise women for their contributions to their work, families, and movements throughout history.

We’ve decided to look at the optical industry and some of the amazing women who have made it what it is today. Let’s take a look:

 

The first female optometrist

Gertude Stanton was reported to become the first licensed female optometrist in 1899. Representation of women in the optometry field was extremely limited at this time and continued to be so for many years. After Gertude began to pave the way for women to enter the sector there were still many barriers faced and by 1968 only 2.1% of active optometrists in the US were women; there was still much to be done in the industry! Great strides have been made since then however, and the 2018 annual report of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) showed that around 40% of fellows and 63% of candidates for fellowship were female.

{Facts and figures from The Journal of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry}

 

The first woman appointed Professor of Optometry in the United Kingdom

In a traditionally male dominated field, women began to find their place in the education of optometry. Shahina Pardhan became the first female Professor of Optometry in the United Kindgom in 1993. She has broken down many barriers for those coming after her and still continues to give guidance and advice to women in the sector. In a 2019 interview with The Ophthalmologist she shared, “If you start losing confidence, look to the women around you for advice. It was only with the help of my family and line managers that I was able to break down some of the barriers holding me back,” (theophthalmologist.com)

 

Leading the way in American optometry

As an ever-growing sector, the achievements of women in optometry continue to grow year on year. In the US we have been lucky to see many of these developments in our lifetime. Joan Exford became the first female president of the American Academy of Optometry in 1993 and the AOA followed the appointment of a female president in 2011 with Dori Carlson taking the position. These are all positive steps for representation in the sector and we hope to continue to see this happen.

{Information taken from Minnesota.aoa.org}

 

Optometrists named in the UK list of the top 100 female entrepreneurs

Dr Valarie Jerome and Roshni Dalia were both named within Small Business Britain’s #ialso100 campaign in 2021. Both optometrists have done a lot of great work for the optometry sector in the UK over the past few years with Dr Jerome offering remote eye care services during the Covid-19 pandemic and collecting prescriptions and shopping for those isolating in her area. Roshni Dalia qualified as an optometrist in 2012 and became a business owner at the young age of 27. She’s hoping to use her platform to inspire young woman to keep working towards their goals and encourage them to continue with hard work and determination in the sector. These women and many like them in their field are doing so much to inspire those around them as well as upcoming optometrists.

{Information taken from aop.org.uk}

 

These accomplishments are just some of the things achieved by women in this sector and there are many more across the entire healthcare profession. We continue to see the effects of these actions reflected everyday from women across the profession. It’s important to promote and celebrate these developments on this day and every day so we can strive to keep this growing representation for women in any and every industry.

During the summer we always think about protecting our skin from the sun, but we should also be thinking about protecting our eyes from UV rays as well. Increased exposure to sunlight is known to put us more at risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration so it’s important to think about how we can limit the damage from UV rays. It’s also vital to remember that sun damage does not only occur in the summer, we are also at risk throughout the rest of the year too.

Here are some tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to help us protect our eyes from sun damage.

Don’t focus on colour or darkness of sunglass lenses: Select sunglasses that block UV rays. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the price tag or how dark the sunglass lenses are.

Check for 100 percent UV protection: Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A rays and UV-B rays.

Choose wrap-around styles: Ideally, your sunglasses should wrap all the way around to your temples, so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.

Wear a hat: In addition to your sunglasses, wear a broad-brimmed hat to protect your eyes.

Don’t rely on contact lenses: Even if you wear contact lenses with UV protection, remember your sunglasses.

Don’t be fooled by clouds: The sun’s rays can pass through haze and thin clouds. Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in the summertime.

Protect your eyes during peak sun times: Sunglasses should be worn whenever outside, and it’s especially important to wear sunglasses in the early afternoon and at higher altitudes, where UV light is more intense.

Never look directly at the sun. Looking directly at the sun at any time, including during an eclipse, can lead to solar retinopathy, damage to the eye’s retina from solar radiation.

Don’t forget the kids: Everyone is at risk, including children.

Protect their eyes with hats and sunglasses. In addition, try to keep children out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest.

Source: https://www.eyeandhealth.com/blog/july-is-uv-safety-awareness-month