January is National Eye Care & Glaucoma Awareness Month and is therefore a good time to assess your vision health and know the most common risks.
The American Optometric Association recommends adults get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams.
It is helpful to know what the most common age-related vision issues are, what the symptoms and risk factors are as well as how to take steps to protect and preserve one of the most precious of the five senses.
Common vision problems and easy corrections
Many common vision problems can be easily detected and corrected.
- Presbyopia – Can’t see close objects or small print clearly. Correct with reading glasses or contacts.
- Floaters – Tiny spots or specks that drift across your field of vision. Mostly normal but if you see flashes of light, it could mean a detached retina. See your doctor.
- Dry eyes – When tear glands can’t make enough tears you might feel burning or itching. Your doctor may suggest a humidifier or special eye drops.
- Tearing or Watering – When your eyes make too many tears in response to light, wind, or temperature changes. Wear sunglasses, see doctor about a blocked tear duct.
- Cataracts – Block the lens and make it hard to see. If they cause problems, your doctor can surgically remove and replace your lens with an artificial version.
Tips for protecting your vision
Here are a number of common sense steps people can take to monitor and maintain the sense of sight:
- Be aware of risk factors such as: age, family history, high blood pressure.
- Have regular physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Pay attention to changes in your vision.
- Exercise such as walking can reduce the risk of age-related vision issues.
- Protect your eyes from harmful UV light. Wear sunglasses.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet (fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables).
- Get a comprehensive, dilated eye exam at least every two years.
- Don’t smoke.
For more information about vision health:
“I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes.” ~Zig Ziglar