Celebrate Healthy Vision Month
Our vision is a facet of our health that many often take for granted. Many people do not attend annual eye exams or seek care when they notice smaller issues with their vision, simply letting these issues become more significant with time until it may be too late to restore vision to its optimal quality. We at Retina Consultants San Diego wanted to take the time to honor Healthy Vision Month this May to better educate our patients on why making their eyesight a priority is recommended.
Schedule and Attend Regular Eye Exams
Annual eye exams by an ophthalmologist allow you to get a clear picture of the state of your vision health. Even if you do not have an active concern, such as a retinal tear, it is still possible for your eye doctor to discover whether or not you have a condition or injury that requires care, even if the symptoms are not yet noticeable.
Although eye conditions are normally found in adults aged 50 and older, it is becoming increasingly common for younger people, including children, to be at risk for vision problems. For example, diabetes has become more prevalent among children and young adults in recent years, making this age group increasingly at risk for vision-related issues like diabetic retinopathy. Currently, eye exams for children are recommended every three to five years.
Review Your Family’s Medical History
Certain eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, are more likely to happen in patients whose families have a history of eye conditions or underlying diseases. As such, it’s vital to be aware of your family’s history so that you can discuss with your doctor ways to prevent health problems.
Quit Smoking or Never Start
The negative health effects of smoking are well established, but you may not know how much smoking has been shown to damage the health of your retina. Smoking hastens the effects of degeneration seen in patients as they age. It also can exacerbate underlying conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, thus increasing the likelihood of developing vascular problems in the eye.
On bright sunny days, it’s easy to remember to wear sunglasses that offer broad-spectrum protection against the sun’s rays, but you should also seek to wear them on days when it’s not so bright as well. UV rays from the sun can damage your eyes on an overcast day in the same way it can cause sunburn to your skin.
Wear Eye Protection
Eye protection needs to be worn every single time you engage in an activity in which your eye could be injured or exposed to a chemical. This includes cleaning with products at home, some of which have strong sprays that could bounce back into the eye, and wearing eye protection while performing simple at-home projects.
Wash Your Hands Often
Washing your hands is not only standard good hygiene that helps to prevent the spread of germs; it also helps to prevent dirt, debris, and other potentially harmful substances from coming into contact with your eyes. For example, if you are using regular cleaning products to clean your kitchen or bathroom without wearing gloves, and then rub your eye after cleaning, it can potentially cause irritation or worse to your eye.
The steps to honor Healthy Vision Month this May are rather straightforward. The key is to actively put your eyesight forward as a priority. If you have questions or concerns about the health of your eyes or suspect an issue is taking place, please contact Retina Consultants San Diego today.