May is Healthy Vision Month, and you can get a comprehensive dilated eye exam to rule out common vision problems. Schedule an exam if you haven’t had one in a while.

Healthy Vision Month

Taking care of your eyes, like eating healthy and exercising, should be a priority. During healthy vision month checking your vision can help keep you safe. Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam to keep your eyes healthy! An eye care professional will use drops to widen the pupils to check for common vision problems and eye diseases. It’s the best way to find out if you need glasses or contacts, or if you have any eye-related diseases in their early stages.

A dilated eye exam can be done on a regular basis to check for common eye problems. If you haven’t had an exam in a while, make one this month. This Healthy Vision Month, the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative collaborates with the National Eye Institute to encourage all Americans to make vision a health priority.Here’s some stats:

  • Although older people are more likely to have vision problems, preschoolers may not see as well as they can.
  • Only one in every seven preschoolers receives an eye exam, and fewer than one in every four receives some form of vision screening.
  • The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends vision screening for all children aged 3 to 5 years old in order to detect conditions such as amblyopia, or lazy eye, which can be effectively treated.

Healthy Vision No Matter Your Age

Some eye diseases can result in vision loss and even blindness. These are some examples:

  • Cataracts are cloudy spots in the eye.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the blood vessels in the back of the eye are damaged.
  • Glaucoma is an optic nerve disorder characterized by increased eye pressure.
  • Age-related macular degeneration, which affects central vision gradually.

Other common eye conditions, such as refractive errors, which occur when your eye’s shape does not bend light correctly, are easily corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery. An estimated 11 million Americans aged 12 and up could benefit from corrective lenses or, if necessary, eye surgery.

Simple Ways to protect Your Vision

There are nine ways you can help protect your vision:

  1. Get comprehensive dilated eye exams on a regular basis.
  2. Understand your family’s eye health history. It’s critical to know if anyone in your family has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, as some are inherited.
  3. To protect your vision, eat the following foods: Consume plenty of dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, or collard greens, as well as omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, albacore tuna, trout, and halibut.
  4. Keep a healthy weight.
  5. Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports or performing household tasks such as painting, yard work, and home repairs.
  6. Quit smoking or don’t start at all.
  7. Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and UVB radiation.
  8. To avoid infection, wash your hands before removing your contacts and thoroughly clean your contact lenses.
  9. Maintain workplace eye safety.

Overall Health and Your Vision

Taking care of your eyes may also improve your overall health. People with poor vision are more likely to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain, and strokes, as well as an increased risk of falls, injury, and depression. 54.2 percent of blind people and 41.7 percent of people with impaired vision aged 65 and up say their overall health is fair or poor. Only 21.5 percent of older Americans who did not have vision problems reported being in fair to poor health.

In addition to your comprehensive dilated eye exams, see an eye care professional if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Reduced vision.
  • Pain in the eyes.
  • Eye discharge or redness.
  • Doubtful vision.
  • Diabetes.
  • Floaters are tiny specks that appear to float in front of your eyes.
  • Halos (circles) around light sources; or if you see light flashes.

Take care of your eyes this Healthy Vision Month to ensure they last a lifetime!

For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.

Source: cdc.gov

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