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May 2013 Health Challenge - Healthy Vision Month

Millions of people living in the United States have undetected vision problems, eye diseases, and related conditions. Make your vision health a priority by focusing on the importance of early detection and treatment, as well as the use of proper eye safety practices, in preventing vision loss and blindness. This month, share information about eye health and safety and the importance of comprehensive dilated exams with your family, friends, coworkers and others in your community.

What can you do to keep your eyes healthy?

Here are some tips for keeping your eyes healthy and your vision at its best.

  • Schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least every two years, or more frequently if recommended by your eye care professional
  • Know your family‚Äôs eye health history to determine if you are at a higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition
  • Eat right to protect your sight
    • We all know that carrots are good for your eyes, but dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, or collard greens are important as well

  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of diabetes and other systemic conditions which can lead to vision loss or glaucoma
  • Wear protective eyewear, such as safety glasses and goggles, when playing sports or doing activities around the home
  • Quit smoking (or never start); research has linked smoking to age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage
  • Wear sunglasses with lenses that block out 99-100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • Give your eyes a break and follow the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes that you spend looking at a computer screen, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds
  • Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly to avoid infection
  • Practice workplace eye safety by wearing protective eyewear when necessary and encourage your coworkers to do the same

One of the most important things people can do to protect their vision is to schedule a comprehensive dilated eye exam. In this painless procedure, an eye care professional examines the eyes to look for common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. A comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect eye diseases and conditions in their early stages, before vision loss occurs.

According to the National Eye Institute, Glaucoma is an eye disease that is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Take this quiz to test your knowledge about glaucoma and review the answers to learn more about preventing this disease.

Read more on these topics by visiting the websites below:

Eye Health Tips
Online NEI Publications Catalog
Eye Health Organizations Database