Imagine a life without sight. Life-changing? Vision is our most important sense, but regular visits to an eye doctor are often overlooked. A common misconception is "If can I see, then my eyes are healthy. Right?" No!
- Often, eye disease is symptomless until damage is permanent.
- 75% of vision loss can be prevented or treated.5
- Protect your eyesight with an exam every 1 to 2 years.
- Currently, 5.5 million Canadians live with a major eye disease that could cause vision loss.
1. Schedule Regular Eye Exams
This is the most important step in preserving your vision. Just like visits to your dentist and doctor, your eye health should be monitored every 1 to 2 years.
- 82% of people fear losing their vision; yet only 16% get annual eye exams.1
- Lack of regular vision care needlessly costs hundreds of thousands their sight.
- Make the time to protect your eyesight.
- Learn about The 20/20 Myth
2. Stop Smoking
Shocked? Smoking causes lung cancer and premature death. Despite this, few people realize its' link to blindness. Quiting smoking is the hardest but best thing you can do for yourself, your loved ones and your eyes.
- Smokers are up to 4 times more likely to go blind in old age.
- Living with a smoker doubles the risk of age-related macular degeneration(AMD)
- Doubles the risk of developing cataracts
- Increases the risks of glaucoma.
3. Eat A Balanced Diet
We have all heard it before "we are what we eat" but it continues to make good sense. Despite this, most Canadians don't realize the incredible impact this has on preventing eye diseases like AMD and cataracts. We need a diet balanced with omega 3's fatty acids and anti-oxidants.
4. Eliminate Excess Weight
My own personal struggle. We all know that exercise is good for you. It helps your heart, back, bones, brain, the eyes and many other organs. However, obesity is also an important risk factor in vision loss. Just like smoking and eating right, eliminating the excess weight is a risk factor we control. It may even slow the progression of retinal degeneration according to a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience.
Excess weight increases our risks of:
- Age-related AMD
- Vascular eye disease
5. Wear Quality Sunglasses!
Easiest thing ever! We are exposed to far more sun's UV rays that than one would think (in our kitchen, living room, etc..). UV rays are known to contribute to the development of eyelid cancer, cataracts, and AMD. Despite this, less than 20% of prescription eyeglass wearers have sunglasses.
- Essential eye protection
- Provide UV protection. 80% of your lifetime UV exposure occurs when you're under 18, but 40% occurs when you're not in full sunlight.
- Polarized lenses provide blue-light protection (HEV; high-energy visible radiation). The short wavelengths of blue light have been associated with AMD. I will talk about this important topic in another blog post.
- Skin cancer protection. Skin cancer around the eyes is surprisingly common, accounting for 5 to 10% of all skin cancers.3
- Improved night driving. Even short bursts intense light can delay your night driving.
- Increased comfort driving and outside. Glare can be debilitating and accounts for 25% of accidents. Polarized lenses eliminate glare, and provide 100% of UVA/UVB protection.
Prevention and lifestyle changes are critical to protecting your sight. Start with regular eye examinations by Saskatoon optometrists, and act on the advice given to you by your eye doctor. Catching sight threatening changes early is the most important step in protecting your eyesight.
Enjoy great vision for life!