The National Eye Institute (NEI) encourages you to join in celebrating Healthy Vision Month by encouraging friends and family to make eye health a priority. The NEI encourages you to get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams. This eye exam is the only way to know for sure that your eyes are completely healthy. Many vision issues go unnoticed and many common eye diseases have no symptoms. During a comprehensive eye exam, drops are placed into your eyes to help widen your pupil. This allows your eye doctor to examine your retina through a magnified lens to look for any signs of damage or problems.
Living a healthy lifestyle is important for the overall health of your body and eyes. Being overweight or obese increases your risk or diabetes and other conditions that can lead to vision loss.
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids is important for eye health. Smoking is linked to macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage. Diabetes, hypertension and multiple sclerosis can all lead to inflammation of the optic nerve and need to be managed properly to prevent eye problems form occurring. Also, being aware of family history helps you determine if you have a risk for developing eye disease.
Keep your eyes safe! Wear protective eyewear while at work. Each day about 2,000 workers in the United States require medical treatment, for job-related eye injuries. U.S. emergency rooms treat eye related sports injuries every 13 minutes. Safety glasses, googles, safety shields, and eye guards are important to help protect your eyes. It is recommended to wear protective eyewear made from polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics.
Sunglasses help protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet rays can cause cataracts, which cloud the eye’s lens and blur vision. UV rays can also cause macular degeneration and pterygium. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and results from retina damage and destroys central vision. Pterygium is a tissue growth over the white part of your eye and alters the shape of the eye causing astigmatism.
For more information on you eyes and how to keep them health please visit the Nation Eye Institute’s website!