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Eye Care We Care - Love your eyes

One in five of us will experience sight loss in our lifetime, but did you know that over 50 per cent of sight loss is avoidable?

A small group of campaigners experiencing what sight loss is like

We’re working with the NI EyeCare Network on a series of roadshows and awareness raising activities across Northern Ireland to share top tips on keeping your eyes healthy, and information on services and support available for anyone who is experiencing difficulties with their sight, including our Eye Care Liaison Officers.

Upcoming roadshows:

  • Tuesday 18 April, Buttercrane Shopping Centre, Newry

There are a number of things we can do every day to help keep our eyes, and our sight, in best condition. Find out more below and on our eye health pages.

Our five eye health top tips:

1. Regular eye tests

Sight is the sense people say they fear losing the most, yet an eye appointment is the one they’re most likely to miss, cancel or avoid.

Most people should have their eyes examined at least once every two years - even if there is no change in your vision, as an eye examination can often pick up the first signs of a range of eye conditions that can cause sight loss before you notice any symptoms, including glaucoma.

Did you know a routine eye test can also detect a range of life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease?

We also encourage anyone with diabetes to attend all screening appointments. If you cannot attend your prescribed appointment, please call the Diabetic Eye Screening booking office on 028 96 157600 to rearrange.

Help towards eye test and glasses costs

To check if you’re eligible for help towards eye test and glasses costs, call the free Health and Social Care Information Line on 0800 587 8982 or visit

2. Get help to stop smoking

Age-related macular degeneration is the UK’s most common cause of sight loss and smoking doubles that risk.

Stopping smoking

3. Eat healthy and watch your weight

Obesity can increase the risk of developing diabetes, which in turn can also cause sight loss.

Eating a diet low in saturated fats but rich in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli may help delay the progression of conditions such as cataracts and AMD.

More on nutrition

4. Wear sunglasses

UVA and UVB rays in sunlight can harm your eyes and may increase the risk of cataracts and AMD. Wearing sunglasses, glasses or contact lenses with built in UV filter will protect your eyes. Only buy sunglasses that have a CE mark or carry British Standard BS EN ISO 12312-1.

If you are particularly sensitive to sunlight, RNIB provides a range of eyeshields in our online shop

5. Safety first

DIY and sport cause thousands of eye-related injuries each year. Always wear safety goggles (European Standard BS EN 166) or sports goggles to keep your eyes protected.

What’s it like living with a condition affecting your sight?

Watch our Youtube video series to hear from people with various eye conditions across the UK – including ‘what to expect during cataract surgery’ and ‘managing diabetes with your diet’.