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Eye Health and Ways to Prevent Vision Loss

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Vision Health Month is a great time to raise awareness about eye health and ways to prevent vision loss. A regular eye exam by a doctor of optometry is the best way to stay on top of eye health. Did you know that 1 in 7 Canadians will develop a serious eye disease in their lifetime? Yet statistics coming from the Canadian Association of Optometrists indicate that 75% of vision loss can be prevented or treated with proper care.

Your optometrist sees more than your eyes and a comprehensive eye exam does much more than test your vision.  Other health conditions that may show symptoms in the eyes include: tumors, aneurysms, autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease, sickle cell disease, liver disease, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological or brain disorders.  Comprehensive eye exams provide optometrists a close-up look at your blood vessels, veins, and nerves, all of which may contain clues to conditions that could pose a serious risk to your health.

Vision Health Month raises awareness about the importance of protecting our vision health which includes safe work practices and the use of proper eye protection.  As well, for office workers, working on your computer or other electronic device for a long period of time, can cause eyestrain and fatigue. When you are focusing on a screen for an extended period you can forget to blink. This can make your eyes dry and result in blurred vision and headaches.

The eyes are the windows to your health and your next visit to the optometrist could reveal a lot about your overall health.  The CAO recommends adults receive an eye exam every two years, while school-aged children and those over 65 should book yearly eye exams.The CAO recommends adults receive an eye exam every two years while school-aged children and those over 65 should book yearly eye exams. “At risk” adults should opt for the more frequent yearly exams and this would include anyone with a family history of eye disease or diabetes.

During the month of May, the CAO will run an awareness campaign with a call for all Canadians to “Get EyeWise” and help encourage optimal eye health and vision care. This event is supported by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and is recognized throughout the whole of Canada.

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Written by Sagar Hamidi

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