Protect and save your vision
Protect and save your vision
Each year in March, the American Optometric Association (AOA) celebrates “Save Your Vision” month. Did you know most Americans consider vision the most important of the five senses?
According to the AOA’s American Eye-Q® survey, 51 percent of consumers indicate eyesight is the sense they worry most about losing. Yet, in the hustle and bustle of life our vision is sometimes taken for granted. Protecting the eyes and vision should be an important part of overall health care for Americans of all ages.
Regular eye exams and professional care should start early in life. Besides seeing your optometrist regularly, I’ve listed some specific tips that you and your family can follow to preserve eye health and vision based on your age.
First Decades of Life
This is a critical time to make sure eyes are developing correctly and are ready for maximum learning and athletic activities. So much of what we learn comes through our eyes that it is essential for best classroom performance that we keep a close check on vision and eye coordination skills. We now know that sun damage to our eyes begins very early in life and so remember sunglasses to protect against harmful UV radiation beginning at a young age.
20s & 30s
The eyes are generally healthy in young adults. The majority of people in their 20s or 30s can correct vision problems by wearing corrective lenses, either contact lenses or eyeglasses. At this age, it’s important to take proactive steps to protect eyesight and vision. For example, eating dark leafy green vegetables and following good nutrition guidelines can boost eye health throughout life.
40s & 50s
People often begin to notice vision changes around age 40, with a principal complaint being difficulty seeing while reading or doing close work. This normal change in the eye’s focusing ability due to ageis called presbyopia, and will continue to until the mid to late 50s. Other vision changes often include dry eyes; an optometrist can offer suggestions or treatment to ease the symptoms. Adults over age 40 may be at risk for developing eye and vision problems if they have chronic or systemic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
60s and beyond
At this age, it’s important for patients to be vigilant about seeing their eye doctor to monitor for the onset of diseases like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Many of these conditions have no early symptoms, developing painlessly.
Depending on family history and risk factors, your eye doctor may recommend checkups more than once a year. Early detection and treatment is the best way to maintain good vision at any age
I know how important my eyes are to me and I hope that you will find valuable information in the articles included in this special vision report so that you’ll have the knowledge to ensure a lifetime of healthy vision for you and your loved ones.
By Ronald L. Hopping, O.D., MPH, President, American Optometric Association