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Free eye exams for seniors at annual 5K race tomorrow

  • Reaching out: Dr Leonard Teye-Botchway, founder of the Bermuda International Eye Institute

An eye expert has reminded seniors to get regular eye exams to prevent loss of vision.

Leonard Teye-Botchway highlighted the importance of eye health as Bermuda gears up for the 15th Annual Eye Institute Classic 5K tomorrow.

The founder of the Bermuda International Eye Institute said: “Regular eye exams are extremely important as one reaches the senior years. Annual eye examinations are recommended for everyone over age 60.

“In the years after one turns 60, a number of eye diseases may develop that can alter vision permanently. The earlier these problems are detected and treated, the more likely one can retain good vision.”

Dr Teye-Botchway added: “Taking good care of your eyes and seeking professional care can help safeguard vision.

“Many of these eye diseases have no early warning symptoms for the patient.

“Some diseases develop painlessly, and one may not notice any changes to vision until the condition becomes very advanced. Regular eye exams, wise lifestyle choices and early detection of disease can significantly improve the chances of maintaining good eye health and vision as people age.”

Dr Teye-Botchway said some of the most common eye problems for seniors include dry eye, glaucoma, which can lead to loss of side vision, age-related macular degeneration, which causes central vision loss, and diabetic retinopathy, which can cause blindness.

He added: “Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife and in the senior years can also affect eye health.”

Dr Teye-Botchway also emphasised the importance of regular exercise, which helps blood circulation and oxygen intake.

Sunday’s annual race and walk benefits Age Concern and aims to highlight eye health.

Ashley Godek, one of the race directors along with Feven Binega-Northcott, said: “Health is so important and eye health is something none of us should take for granted.

“We are aiming to get as many people as possible to participate. It is going to be a great event.”

Ms Binega-Northcott said they had received a great response from the community but were still looking for more people to sign up.

Ms Godek said: “We have a wonderful event planned — it’s a lovely route for a run or a Sunday stroll, there is a kids’ race, T-shirts and goody bags are provided for participants, it benefits a great charity, and there will be draw prizes and refreshments at the finish.”

Ms Binega-Northcott said: “The East End rarely gets this kind of traffic from race events and we encourage everyone to come and enjoy what the area has to offer while supporting this great cause.”

The event will start at the East End Primary School in St George at 9am. Deadline for entry was 1pm yesterday.

Sign-up is available online at www.racedayworld.com or at Sports Seller in the Washington Mall in Hamilton.