May is Healthy Vision Month. Although healthy vision should be on your mind all year long, May is when the American Academy of Ophthalmology brings awareness to the importance of proper eye care.
Being aware of eye diseases and your risk is one of the most important ways to maintain your healthy vision. You can better care for your eyes and vision by following a few essential tips.
Keep reading to learn what you need to know about Healthy Vision Month!
Age-Related Eye Conditions
The most common eye conditions are age-related. Eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are common and can lead to severe vision problems.
Some eye conditions also often don’t show symptoms in the early stages and are only apparent when you experience vision loss. Except for cataracts, vision loss from many eye conditions is irreversible.
In cases where permanent vision loss has occurred, eye doctors work diligently to manage the condition and prevent further vision loss. These conditions usually occur in adults aged forty and older.
You’re at higher risk for many types of eye conditions the older you are. You can also be at higher risk if you have a family history of eye disease or have certain associated conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
Knowing your risk is essential to prevent vision loss, and the best way to catch these conditions in the early stages is through regular eye exams.
The Importance of Eye Exams
Since many eye diseases don’t show any symptoms until they’ve already caused irreversible damage, routine eye exams are the best way to catch them early. If you have eye exams regularly, you can rest assured that any issues will likely be spotted before there’s extensive damage.
Most of these diseases develop slowly over time. Your eye doctor can usually diagnose them in the early stages as long as you have exams regularly enough.
How often you need eye exams depends on your risk. Generally speaking, you should have an eye exam at least once every two years after you turn forty and once every year after you turn fifty.
You may need them more frequently if you’re at higher risk. It’s important to talk to your eye doctor about your family medical history so they can assess your risk and determine how often you will need to schedule appointments.
Lowering Your Risk for Eye Disease
The best thing you can do to keep your eyes healthy is to see your eye doctor regularly. There are also things you can do to lower your risk for certain eye conditions.
Some risk factors are out of your control, like age and family history. However, you can lower your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes by living a healthy lifestyle.
That means getting exercise and eating a balanced diet. UV damage from the sun is also linked to certain eye conditions like cataracts and cancer.
Preventing UV damage is as simple as wearing sunglasses. Be sure you have a pair that blocks out at least 99% of UV rays.
Wearing sunglasses can keep your eyes healthier by lowering your risk for eye disease.
Are you interested in learning more ways that you can keep your eyes healthy during Healthy Vision Month? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Henderson, NV, today!