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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   TAKE FIVE.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               For general eye health, eat at
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               least five portions of fruit and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              vegetables a day — these are
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               rich in antioxidants which can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             reduce the risk of cataracts and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             macular degeneration. Research
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                suggests that people taking


     S
          ight is one              the suspensory ligament                                                                                                                                                                                                                    antioxidant supplements enjoy
          of our most              forward. This reduces the                                                                                                                                                                                                                 even greater protection against
                                   pull on the outer rim of                                                                                                                                                                                                                   eye problems, as well as less
          important                the lens, so it relaxes due                                                                                                                                                                                                                  risk of stroke, heart disease
     senses. As we get             to its natural elasticity. As                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and even cancer.
     older, however, our           a result, the lens becomes                                                                                                                                                                                                                IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE...
     eyesight invariably           thicker and more convex,                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Better Eyesight without Glasses
     starts to fail.               and its ability to refract                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Revised Edition) by W. H. Bates
                                   light increases.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Thorsons, £4.99).
       Between the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Take Off Your Glasses And See
     ages of 16 and 34,            What causes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       by Jacob Liberman
     34 per cent of us use                                         first symptoms usually        little you can do to                                                                                                                                                                {Thorsons, £7.99).
     glasses or contact            presbyopia?                     occurring at around 45.       prevent it. The lens goes                                                                                                                                                   For information on eye problems,
                                   As we get older, the            You may have to hold          on growing throughout                                                                                                                                                       glasses or contact lenses, send
     lenses, but from 65           lenses thicken and slowly       your copy of Woman's          life but the eye stays a                                                                                                                                                         an sae to: The Eyecare
     to 74, as many as             lose elasticity. They           Weekly further away,          fixed size. As the lens                                                                                                                                                       Information Service, PO Box
     98 per cent of people         become less and less            or you may need more          grows larger, the ciliary                                                                                                                                                       3597, London SE1 6DY.
     need their vision             able to change shape            light to read small print.    muscle has less power
     corrected. One of             and so it's increasingly        By 65, little focusing        to change the shape by                                                                                                                                                      do the palming exercise.
                                   difficult to focus on near      ability remains. You'll       constricting or relaxing.                                                                                                                                                   • Let your imagination
     the main causes                                               still be able to read large   Thankfully, however,
     of reduced eyesight           objects. This causes                                                                                                                                                                                                                      help: when you try to
                                   long-sightedness to             print but it's difficult to   there are spectacles to                                                                                                                                                     read small print close up,
     is a condition known          increase with age —             bring smaller print into      help (see below).                                                                                                                                                           imagine it to be as black
     as presbyopia.                the condition known             focus unless held at                                                                                                                                                                                      as can be rather than the
                                   as presbyopia.                  arm's length.                 Seeing                                                                                                                                                                      grey that you perceive.
     Accommodation                    Presbyopia isn't a              Presbyopia seems           the optician                                                                                                                                                                • Cut six headlines of
     Young eyes have a wide        disease, it's a normal          to be an inherent design      While regular eye checks                                                                                                                                                    decreasing size put of a
     range of focus — from                                                                       are important throughout                                                                                                                                                    newspaper and fix each
     just a few centimetres                                                                      life, they become even                                                                                                                                                      one to a pencil. Hold the
     away to the distant                                                                         more essential once                                                                                                                                                         largest headline 30cm
     horizon. This range of                                                                      the tell-tale signs of                                                                                                                                                      (12in) away from your
     focus is due to the ability                                                                 presbyopia set in. Never                                                                                                                                                    face and gradually bring
     of the crystalline lens in                                                                  put off seeing an optician.                                                                                                                                                 it in towards your nose,
     the eye to change shape.                                                                        Despite common                                                                                                                                                          while keeping the print in
     The ability to focus on                                                                     myths, there's no reason                                                                                                                                                    focus. Move the headline
     near objects is known                                                                       to delay using reading                                                                                                                                                      back out again; repeat
     as accommodation.                                                                           glasses — they won't                                                                                                                                                        with the next largest
        Each lens is suspended                                                                   make your eyes lazy                                                                                                                                                         headline. Continue until
     in the eye by a number                                                                      or encourage them to                                                                                                                                                        you've used all six.
     of fibres known as the                                                                      deteriorate more quickly.
     suspensory ligament.                                                                        Some serious eye
     At rest, the lens takes                                                                     conditions that can
     up a shape that's thin,                                                                     threaten your sight
     flat and naturally set up     change. Whether or              fault. According to           (eg, glaucoma, macular
     for distant vision. When      not you already wear            Mr Vivian Highman,            degeneration) become
     you want to focus on an       glasses or contact              consultant ophthalmic         increasingly common
     object nearby, the ciliary    lenses, it develops as          surgeon at the Manor          after the age of 40 —
     muscle in each eye            a slow process from             House Hospital, Golders       another reason to have
     contracts and draws           age 35 to 40, with the          Green, London, there's        regular eye tests.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Do exercises                   deeply and concentrate       maintain a slight shifting
                           Glasses for               may need to be             close activities, such    objects and when         produces a straight       between which can give                                  on the darkness for at       motion and reduce
                           presbyopia                changed four or            as reading or sewing.     distance vision is       line in the lenses        a floating sensation.    help?                          least ten minutes, three     eye strain.
                                                     five times between         They won't help when      needed, you merely       between the two           They provide a smaller   Dr William Bates, an           times a day.                 • Keeping your body
                           If you were long-         the ages of 45 and         driving or watching       look over the top of     focusing areas,
                          sighted in your youth,                                                                                                             aperture for near work   American ophthalmologist       • Twice a day, stand         stationary, move your
                                                     65. After this, the        television as they        the frame so they can    which can sometimes       but they have the        who was practising at the      with your feet a foot apart. eyes and head from
                          there will usually         prescription stays         usually make distance     stay perched on the      be distracting.
                          come a time when                                                                                                                   advantage of looking     beginning of the century,      Turn your body to the        side to side, through
                          you need glasses           the same as all the        vision blurred. As        end of your nose.                                  good and are becoming    claimed that presbyopia        right while rotating your    180 degrees, so your
                          for both distance          focusing will now          your activities change                             Varifocal or              increasingly popular.    wasn't a normal result of      left foot, then rotate to    open eyes trace a
                                                     be done by your            throughout the day,        Bifocal glasses         progressive glasses                                growing old. His work has      the left, moving your right  smooth arc without
                          and close work. if you     spectacles. Various        you will have to
                          were short-sighted,                                                             Bifocals are probably    These are sometimes                                been continued by Jacob        foot. Keep your head         fixing or glazing over.
                          you may initially          types of glass lenses      put them on and take      the easiest glasses      referred to as bifocals                            Liberman, and some             and shoulders aligned and    At the end of each arc,
                          just need glasses
                                                     can help presbyopia        them off repeatedly.      to use. The lenses       without lines. The                                 of their eye exercises         your eyes still, without     check that your eyes
                                                     and each has its                                                                                                                 are described below.
  WHICH                   for distance, but
                           most people end
                           up requiring them
                                                     pros and cons.
                                                      Simple
                                                                                 D Glasses
                                                                                Half-eye glasses are
                                                                                                          are either plain or
                                                                                                          have a prescription
                                                                                                          for distance vision
                                                                                                                                   lenses are specially
                                                                                                                                   shaped to graduate
                                                                                                                                   from distance vision
                                                                                                                                                                                      Try them for yourself.
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sit comfortably with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     fixing on anything.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     When you are rotating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     correctly, objects will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  are still pointing in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  same direction as your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nose. This is even more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             In his book Take Off Your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Glasses And See, Jacob
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Liberman suggests
 GLASSES                  for both near and
                          far vision.
                              As presbyopia
                                                      reading glasses
                                                     Simple reading
                                                                                useful for someone
                                                                                with good distance
                                                                                vision. They provide
                                                                                                          in the top half of the
                                                                                                          lens with a different
                                                                                                          prescription for near
                                                                                                                                   at the top to reading
                                                                                                                                   strength at the bottom,
                                                                                                                                   and a range of
                                                                                                                                                                                      your eyes closed. Gently
                                                                                                                                                                                      place your slightly cupped
                                                                                                                                                                                      palms over your eyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     seem to move round you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     while you are standing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     still. Continue for five
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  effective if performed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  outside on a sunny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  day, with your eyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             making a "Look Up!"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             bookmark in thin card
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (as above) and placing
 FOR YOU?                 progresses, your
                          glasses prescription
                                                     glasses with convex
                                                     lenses are worn for
                                                                                a small area for
                                                                                focusing on near
                                                                                                          vision (reading) in
                                                                                                          the lower half. This
                                                                                                                                   focusing strength
                                                                                                                                   is produced in
                                                                                                                                                                                      to block out light. Do not
                                                                                                                                                                                      apply any pressure to
                                                                                                                                                                                      the eyeball. Breathe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     minutes. This will stop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     your eyes fixing on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     objects, teach them to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  closed and sunlight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  playing on your lids.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Straight after sunning,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             it in your book two
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             pages ahead of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             one you're reading.
26                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dr Brewer is unable to reply to individual enquiries, so please don't send an sae