Your eyes should give you a lifetime’s service, but sometimes they can be affected by conditions you were born with or which develop as you grow older. You can keep your eyes healthy by not smoking, and eating lots of green, leafy vegetables.

Eye or sight problems can occur at any time, but you are more likely to develop problems if you are over 40, because conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataract are all more frequent in older people. You are also at increased risk if there are eye conditions in your family, and people from African-Caribbean and South Asian ethnic groups have a higher risk.

We know that 74% of people in the UK either wear corrective eyewear (glasses or contact lenses) or have had laser eye surgery to help them see better. Wearing the wrong prescription in your glasses isn’t bad for you (unless you drive with them – then you obviously need to see properly), but if you are in an at-risk group you should have your eyes checked regularly (every two years or as often as your optometrist recommends). That means if you do develop a condition, it can be caught and treated early.

Use the menu on the left to find out more about conditions that affect eyes.