More than 23 million Americans age 18 and older have never had an eye exam,
according to a national survey conducted by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The reason: Most say they don’t think they have an eye problem. In fact: Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms, so without an eye exam, these diseases go untreated. You may be busy, on the go, and caring for your family, but it is important that you make the time to take care of you!
During Healthy Vision Month, held each May, we remind you to make your eye health a priority and encourage you to take very important steps in protecting your sight.
Get a dilated eye exam
Getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the best way to know if your eyes are healthy and you are seeing your best. Talk to your optometrist about how often you should have one. If you want to see what your eye doctor sees during a dilated eye exam, check out this animation!
Live a healthy lifestyle
Eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, managing chronic conditions, and not smoking can lower your risk of eye disease. You’ve heard that carrots are good for your eyes. But eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes healthy too. Research has also shown there are eye health benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.
Know your family history
Talk to your family members—including parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease, since many diseases are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease yourself.
Use protective eyewear
Protect your eyes when doing chores around the house, playing sports, or on the job to prevent eye injuries from happening. This includes wearing safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards that are made of polycarbonate. Eyewear should sit comfortably on the face, so talk to your eye doctor about the appropriate type of protective eyewear for your sport or job. Make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times, and encourage your teammates and coworkers to do the same.
Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 – 100% of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your eyes healthy. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase your risk for getting eye diseases like cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection, too!
These steps can help you keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss and blindness from eye disease.
Roland Park Vision offers comprehensive eye exams to help diagnose eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Our doctors and staff have helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision. We are very passionate about educating patients and their families regarding prevention and treatment, to ensure that everyone has the best options and know-how when it comes to eye care. Click here to make an appointment!