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How to love and care for your eyes — Optometrists

Optometrists under the aegis of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) have said it is important to love and care for your eyes in order to…

Optometrists under the aegis of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) have said it is important to love and care for your eyes in order to maintain quality vision and preserve your sight.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and it is crucial to love them and ensure they continue to see the beauty that surrounds us.

Optometrists are healthcare specialists licensed to detect, diagnose and provide treatment for diseases and disorders related to the eyes and the visual system. 

The World Council of Optometry says optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners who provide comprehensive eye and vision system care,  which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system.

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According to the President of the Nigeria Optometric Association, Dr Chimeziri Anderson, “Our eyes connect us to the world, allowing us to witness its beauty, experience its wonders, and cherish the moments that matter most. But to truly love our eyes means more than just appreciating the colours and sights around us. It means taking proactive steps to protect and care for our vision.”

In his address to mark this year’s World Sight Day, Dr Chimeziri said the theme of this year’s commemoration  “Love Your Eyes At Work,” is a simple yet profound reminder of the precious gift of sight that we often take for granted.

The chief optometrist and community eye health epidemiologist gave the following tips on loving and caring for our eyes:

Regular eye checkups

Just as we care for our overall health, regular eye checkups should be a priority. Early detection of eye conditions can make a significant difference in preserving our vision, moreover, some chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and others can be detected while doing an eye examination.

Eye safety

Protect your eyes from injuries by wearing appropriate safety gear when at work, outdoor events or riding motorbike,

Children should avoid late morning sun rays because it is highest in harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Healthy lifestyle

Maintain a balanced diet rich in eye-friendly nutrients, like green vegetables, carrots and other fruits. Stay active and exercise daily by trekking distances, dancing, and farming exercise.

Farming time should be early morning and late afternoon to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and prevent cataract incidence.

Spread awareness

Share the importance of eye health with your family, friends, and colleagues. Encourage them to prioritize regular eye examinations and wear their glasses regularly to optimize their vision. The brain functions well when vision is very adequate.

Glasses do not reduce the size of the eyeball, it is due to the magnification characteristics nature of the lenses that make the eyeball and the ocular adnexa look smaller or bigger.

Drivers should show responsibility by wearing their prescription lenses. A driver who wears his glasses is more responsible than those who hide their visual impairment.

Dr Anderson said the Nigerian Optometric Association recognizes the crucial role that routine blood pressure and fasting blood sugar tests play in ensuring comprehensive eye health care.

He said, “We aim to promote holistic health and early detection of underlying conditions that can impact vision. We believe that collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and the Nigerian Health Insurance Authority is essential to drive this initiative forward successfully.”

He said by working together, we can ensure that these tests are integrated into primary care services covered by HMOs and supported by health insurance authorities making them accessible and affordable for a broader population.

 He said, “Let us reach out on advocacy visits to policymakers and community leaders to make more funds available for eye care and to recognize the need to deploy eye care professionals to underserved communities and regions.

“Remember, the eyes are the windows to the soul, love them and ensure they continue to see the beauty that surrounds us.”


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