Every year at this time, and likely other times throughout the year, we get a reminder to cherish our vision. We must not take our ability to see for granted and practicing good eye care during National Eye Care Month can be as simple as scheduling an annual check-up with the Optometrist, ensuring that your eyes stay healthy as the years pass by. While the check-up doesn’t need to be in January, now is a great time to put the appointment on the calendar.
Did you know that nearly 100 million Americans are at high risk for vision loss, yet only half have visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months? Practicing good eye care, both big and small, can be summarized in these seven tips:
- Getting regular eye exams. Dilated eye exams are easy, painless, and the most important thing you can do for your eye health.
- Know your family’s eye health history. Many eye conditions and diseases run in families.
- Know your risk factors. There are a variety of factors that increase the risk of eye diseases. Those at higher risk for glaucoma include African Americans over the age of 40, anyone over the age of 60, and those with a family history of glaucoma.
- Wear sunglasses that block out 99-100% of UVA UVB radiation.
- Quit smoking (or don’t start). Smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Rest your eyes. Put down and turn off screens. Staring at screens, both big and small, for a long time strains your eyes.
- If you wear contact lenses, practice good hygiene to prevent eye infections. Wash your hands before handling your contacts and touching your eyes. Disinfect and replace your contact lenses regularly.