The spectrum of eyesight problems ranges from slight visual impairment to total blindness. Signs that intervention may be needed include difficulty distinguishing colours, objects and faces and problems reading books, computer screens and signs.

So how can you tackle your deteriorating vision?

Laser eye surgery

A visit to an optician will allow you to get your eyes tested properly to determine the severity of the problem. They may prescribe glasses/contact lenses or may even suggest laser eye surgery to you.

Specialists in laser eye surgery, such as Optimax, use a laser to permanently change the shape of the cornea and the lens of the eye. If you are short-sighted (myopic), long-sighted (hyperopic) or suffer from astigmatism, laser surgery may give your eyes a new lease of life and rid your need for glasses altogether.

Undergoing such a procedure, although not for everyone, can tackle your impairment, as well as boost your confidence.

Useful tools

Strong lighting is essential for good vision, so consider flexible-arm task lamps or full spectrum light bulbs.

An electric video magnifier is a hand-held or stand-mounted camera that displays a magnified image of text from a book, magazine or newspaper on a video or computer monitor or TV screen.

Absorbent sunglasses can filter out ultraviolet and infrared light – useful if you are sensitive to bright light and glare, while coloured acetate sheets placed on a page can help enhance the difference between background and text, making words easier to read.

Optical devices are task-specific and your optician may prescribe different aids for different purposes.  ‘Near’ optical devices are designed with activities such as reading, writing and sewing in mind.

Stand magnifiers are helpful for reading – when placed on a page they automatically focus. Portable hand-held magnifiers are handy for ‘spot’ and single word reading, such as looking up a telephone number.

Magnifying reading glasses – also called microscopes – magnify words and allow people to read for longer periods of time. For tasks that are further away, such as watching films and reading signs, ‘distance’ optical devices can be helpful. These include hand-held and spectacle-mounted telescopes, bioptic and telemicroscopes.

Watch what you eat

Look at your diet – specifically, is it balanced and are you getting enough vitamin A? You need to eat carotenoids, which your body converts into vitamin A and can be found in carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, and dark green leafy vegetables.

Fill your diet with antioxidants and make sure you have enough zinc, iron and vitamins C and E. Supplements such as lutein, bilberry, the herb eyebright and zeaxanthin are reputed to be good for eye health.

Change habits

Avoid straining your eyes in poor light or spending excessive amounts of time in front of a computer or television. Your eye lens will become fixed at this focal length, making it harder to focus on objects further away. Make sure you keep your eyes active by moving them around and focusing on things nearer and further away.