May is traditionally Healthy Vision Month, as recognized by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. May is the end of spring, and a time when we start thinking about summer plans.
The sunny weather that comes with this time of year means you need to be extra careful about protecting your eyes. It’s also a time you should think about scheduling eye exams, especially for children. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of Healthy Vision Month!
How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam?
How often you should have eye exams depends on your age and risk level. Children should generally have their eyes examined every two years, starting when they’re six months old.
But if they have a high refractive error, developmental delays, or preexisting conditions, they should have exams annually. They may need them more often depending on recommendations from your ophthalmologist.
The same goes for adults. If you’re generally in good health and have normal vision, you only need to see an eye doctor every couple of years.
But if you’re at risk due to poor vision and/or a family history of eye-related illnesses, you may have to have your eyes examined more often. All adults over the age of fifty should have annual eye exams.
At this age, they are at high risk for age-related conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
The Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle
Eye exams aren’t the only thing you should concern yourself with when it comes to eye health. Leading a healthy lifestyle is important not only for your physical health but also for your vision.
Conditions like diabetes and obesity are associated with several eye-related conditions including glaucoma and cataracts. Poor nutrition can also affect your vision and cause conditions like dry eye syndrome.
The best way to keep your vision is to have a healthy diet with plenty of exercise. Avoid smoking and only drink in moderation. Tobacco and alcohol use are both associated with eye-related illnesses.
Protecting Your Eyes From Damage
In the summer especially, it’s important to wear sunglasses or hats when going out in sunny weather. UV rays from sunlight can cause lasting damage to your vision.
The best way to protect your eyes is by keeping the sunlight out of them! Be sure to buy wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with lenses that block out 99% of UV light.
If you’re not sure if your sunglasses block out UV light, look for a label on the side. You might like your fun sunglasses, but if they don’t have the right kind of lenses, they won’t be very effective.
Sunlight isn’t the only cause of ocular damage, though. Be aware of eye safety particularly when participating in sports.
Wear an eye guard whenever contact is involved, whether it’s between players or with a ball. And when swimming, be sure to leave out the contacts and wear goggles if you’re going to have your face underwater.
Make sure your kids do the same. Protecting their eyes now while they’re developing is key in making sure they have healthy eyes when they’re adults.
Have more questions about how to keep your eyes safe? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Henderson, NV now!