THE 4 BEST ways to PREVENT Vision loss or blindness
Vision is our most precious sense, we use it for nearly everything we do, and yet we often don’t take simple steps to prevent losing it later in life; WHY? Here is a simple list of steps you can take to safeguard your vision and that of your children:
- See the same optometrist every year. Choose wisely when picking a new eye care professional. It’s nice to have a doctor that is on your insurance panel (either medical or vision plan), but this isn’t the only criteria. You should be looking for an office dedicated to preventative care technologies like screening visual field testing, retinal photos, macular pigment measurements, and iWellness testing. An office where the doctor is involved in the day to day of the practice — continuity of care is important and if you see a different doctor each time you are not going to receive the best care for early detection.
- Take advantage of the screening technology. Whether you have a family history, a history of smoking, or just good common sense: prevention is the best medicine and early detection for eye disease is the way we prevent bad outcomes. Those bad outcomes include blindness and loss of life when we deal with internal structures like the eye. While these are buzzwords that don’t happen to everyone, eye disease happens to many more than is necessary, and prevention from the moment we are born to the time we depart this world is the only way to decrease these numbers: NEI (National Eye Institute), a division of the NIH (National Institute of Health) statistics are current as of 2014 and available at the following site for reference: https://nei.nih.gov/sites/default/files/nei-pdfs/NEI_Eye_Disease_Statistics_Factsheet_2014_V10.pdf
- Eat right. Most everyone knows what that means, but few actually follow through with a regimen that supplies the body with all the nutrients it needs. And even fewer know about ocular nutrition and what foods help your eyes see — no, it’s not carrots. Have your MPOD (Macular Pigment Optical Density) measured and assess your risks for developing eye disease.
- Follow doctor recommendations for protective eyewear. Sunglasses should be worn every time sun block is needed for the skin, and not jut dark lenses but quality, polarized sunwear with a backside anti-reflective treatment and 100% UVA and UVB coverage (also known as UV 400). If you don’t know what your sunglasses contain, bring them into your next eye doctor appointment and ask the staff to measure them for you. Protect your eyes with blue/violet blocking technology for use indoors and out; especially important if one’s macular pigment score is low. Cumulative effect of UV and blue/violet light cause eye disease like cataracts and macular degeneration. These conditions don’t begin when someone reaches senior citizen status, they begin our first day outdoors and if left unprotected cause blindness earlier in life. Age related conditions don’t happen just because we get old, often times it’s because we didn’t do what we were asked to do when we were young. We take things like our eyes for granted and we leave them unprotected. The cumulative effect of exposure to damaging light sources blinds us before we enjoy all life has to offer. If you want your children to be able to see the faces of their grandchildren; put them in protective sunglasses and consider blue/violet blocking lens technology.