Resolutions for Healthy Vision
(NC) - Canada is in the midst of a vision loss crisis. The incidence of age-related vision loss in Canada is soaring due to our aging population. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Canadians over 50 with 78,000 new cases each year; this number is expected to triple by 2025. Already, one in four Canadians will experience severe vision loss in their lifetime. The CNIB encourages everyone to take a proactive approach to their vision health by making the following resolutions to help prevent vision loss.
Have your eyes checked regularly.
Visiting an eye care professional for regular eye exams is the most important step to maintain your vision health. Eye exams do more than measure your level of vision. Regular check ups are key to the early detection of eye disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and cataracts, which often can progress unnoticed. Early intervention can slow the progression of these disorders and, in some cases, prevent vision loss. It is recommended that adults have their eyes examined at least every two years, while children and adults over 55 should have their eyes checked every year. People who have a family history of eye disease or systemic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension are urged to get annual exams.
Maintain a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Researchers are finding that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants may help prevent or slow the progress of age-related eye disorders such as cataracts and AMD. Choose fresh, brightly coloured fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens.
Guard your eyes against UV light.
Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can cause permanent damage to the eyes and is a risk factor in the development of cataracts and macular degeneration. Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses that block 99-100 per cent of UV light.
Research has shown that smokers are at a greater risk of developing AMD. People with AMD who continue to smoke could be affecting their response to treatment. Smoking is the most preventable risk factor to the disease.
Protect your eyes to prevent accidental eye injuries.
Take precautions to protect your eyes at work, at home and at play. Wear safety goggles when working with power tools and around harsh chemicals. When on the ice, wear a helmet with a face guard. Be aware of threats to your children's eye safety.
The CNIB is Canada's primary provider of vision loss support and rehabilitation services. For more information, visit www.cnib.ca or contact the CNIB district office nearest you.
- News Canada