Many common eye diseases have no symptoms at first, so they can go unnoticed for a long time before discovered. Having comprehensive eye exams by an optometrist or ophthalmologist are a necessary part of preventing vision loss. Standard exams include checking visual acuity, depth perception, alignment and movement. Dilation drops are used to see into the eye for signs of health problems. Doctors can spot high blood pressure, or even diabetes before your primary doctor does.
Vision Care Can Change Your Life
Common eye diseases that may cause blindness don’t always have early symptoms. Diseases such as Cataracts, Retinopathy, Glaucoma and Age-Related Macular Degeneration can cause vision impairment or even blindness.
- Cataracts (clouding of the lens), the leading cause of vision loss in the United States
- Diabetic retinopathy (causes damage to blood vessels in the back of the eye), the leading cause of blindness in American adults
- Glaucoma (a group of diseases that damages the optic nerve)
- Age-related macular degeneration (gradual breakdown of light-sensitive tissue in the eye)
There is an estimated 93 million US adults at high risk for vision loss. Only half of those have visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months. Regular eye care can have a life-changing impact on preserving the vision of millions of people.
Recommended Eye Exams
- Children’s eyes should be checked regularly by an eye doctor or pediatrician. We recommend vision screening for all children at least once between age 3 and 5 years to detect amblyopia or risk factors for the disease.
- People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam every year.
- Some people are at higher risk for glaucoma and should have a dilated eye exam every 2 years:
- African Americans 40 years and older
- All adults older than 60, especially Mexican Americans
- People with a family history of glaucoma
For everyone else, regular annual standard eye exams are recommended.
Protecting Your Vision
- Get regular eye exams.
- Eat a healthy diet, including leafy greens such as spinach or kale, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Know your family’s health and eye health history.
- Wear sunglasses that block out 99% to 100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation (the sun’s rays).
- Quit smoking or don’t start.
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