Did you know that, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 37 million adults in America currently have some sort of eye disease, whether it be age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma? More alarmingly, if left untreated, each of these diseases can cause visual impairment or blindness. The Eye Institute of West Florida is dedicated to providing the best care to our patients with the goal of reducing or eliminating the risk of long-term damage caused by eye disease. May is Healthy Vision Month, and to support healthy vision, we’d like to discuss our top three tips to protect your eyes and preserve your vision:
Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam once a year Even for people who have never suffered with eye disease, a comprehensive eye exam is recommended each year. Certain diseases often go undetected because they don’t have any symptoms, leaving patients to think they have healthy, normal eyes. The best way to verify that your eyes are as healthy as they should be is to visit an eye doctor for a comprehensive dilated eye exam. At The Eye Institute of West Florida, our board certified optometric physicians are skilled in providing comprehensive eye exams to check the overall health of your eyes. People often don’t realize that a new prescription or glasses may improve their vision, which is evaluated during a comprehensive exam. We also perform tests to detect early stages of eye disease because, if detected early enough, our specialists can work to correct or preserve your vision.
Know your family eye health history Just like the color of our eyes are passed down from our parents, so is their health. Eye health has proven to be hereditary, and knowing your family’s eye health history can play an important role in the health of your own eyes. We recommend that you talk to your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles about their eye health history. Knowing the eye health history of your family members will help determine if your eyes may be at a higher risk of developing a disease.
Wear sunglasses Sunglasses play an important role in the health of your eyes. The sun’s rays are just as bad for your eyes as they are for your skin, and just like your skin needs to be protected from these harmful rays, so do your eyes. This rule is especially important for those of us living in a sunny state, such as Florida. Exposure to UV radiation can speed up or worsen most eye diseases. With the variety of sunglasses available today, you can express your personal style while protecting a vital part of your body.
We are constantly working to make sure our bodies are healthy, regularly visiting the doctor when something seems wrong. Sometimes our concerns for health issues that are easy to detect take priority over those parts of our body that we may take for granted. Because so many eye diseases have mild to no symptoms, we assume everything is all right. However, following these three tips will confirm that your assumption is accurate.