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2020 Resolution!

 

Did you know.......

Losing weight, more exercise, saving money and learning a new skill all make the top 10, but keeping to your New Year’s resolutions is conspicuously more difficult than it seems.  

Around 30% of us will make a New Year’s resolution but according to research, over half of the UK (66%) will last a month or less, while 80% of people give up on their resolve by the end of March
      
This is why the Association of Optometrists (AOP) is challenging the public to keep just one resolution in 2020 – to have regular sight tests. 
       
Speaking about the value of sight tests, optometrist Roshni Kanabar, Clinical and Regulatory Adviser at the AOP said: “Eye health is one of the easiest resolutions you can make and keep –and the benefits are huge. Regular sight tests can’t promise 20/20 vision, but they will make sure that any problems or symptoms of eye disease are picked up early and it could end up saving your sight. At least 50% of all sight loss is avoidable so having checks, regularly, is the most important thing you can do to protect it.” 
 
Other New Year’s resolutions that are kind on your eyes   
 
1. Stop smoking

Many people are unaware of the link between smoking and eye disease. Smoking significantly increases the risk of developing eye diseases, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. 

2. Eat healthily 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet reduces your risk of eye disease. Include lots of omega-3 fats, found in oily fish, and lutein, found in dark-green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. Vitamins A, C and E are also helpful, so eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. 

3. Wear prescribed glasses

Many eye and vision problems develop or increase as we get older. Contrary to the myth, wearing glasses and contact lenses doesn’t make your eyesight worse – they help your eyes work more efficiently.

4. Wear sunglasses

Sunshine may seem a distant memory at this time of year but as well as making your vision more comfortable, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV light. When choosing sunglasses, you should always make sure that they carry the CE or British Standard marks. 

Launching on 27 December, the AOP’s 20/20 eye health campaign, which includes posters displayed in opticians, GP and dental surgeries nationwide, reminds people to have a sight test every two years, or more often if their optometrist recommends it.   

NHS sight tests are available for children under 16, those aged 60 or over, and other key groups. As part of the campaign, the AOP has produced patient leaflets explaining who is eligible for NHS-funded sight tests in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For more information, visit www.aop.org.uk/patients 

 

What is 20/20 vision?

20/20 and similar fractions such as 20/60, 20/40 are called Snellen fractions, named after Herman Snellen, the Dutch ophthalmologist who developed this eyesight measurement system in 1862. This is the format an optometrist records your visual acuity.

Here in the UK we use metres instead of feet as the unit of meausrement so the term 20/20 vision is recorded as 6/6. 6 metres is equivalent to 20 ft.

In the Snellen visual acuity system, the top number of the Snellen fraction is the viewing distance between the patient and the test chart.

At this testing distance, the size of the letters on one of the smaller lines near the bottom of the test chart has been standardised to correspond to "normal" visual acuity — this is the "20/20 (6/6)" line. If you can identify the letters on this line but none smaller, you have normal 20/20 (6/6) visual acuity.

The increasingly larger letter sizes on the lines on the Snellen chart above the 20/20 (6/6) line correspond to worse visual acuity measurements (20/25; 20/32; etc.); the lines with smaller letters below the 6/6 line on the chart correspond to visual acuity measurements that are even better than 20/20 vision (e.g. 20/16; 20/10).

The single big "E" at the top of most Snellen eye charts corresponds to 6/60 (20/200) visual acuity.

On most Snellen charts, the smallest letters correspond to 6/4 visual acuity. If you have 20/10 visual acuity, your eyesight is twice as sharp as that of a person with normal (20/20) vision.

Is it possible to see better than 20/20?

Yes, it's indeed possible to have sharper than 20/20 visual acuity. In fact, most people with young, healthy eyes are capable of identifying at least some of the letters on the 20/15 (6/5 in the UK) line or even smaller letters on the Snellen chart.

This may be due in part to better printing methods available today vs. those in the 19th century when Snellen was determining the smallest letters a person with “normal vision” should be able to discern. 

 

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