May is Health Vision Month

It’s Healthy Vision Month! Make Your Eye Health a Priority. Women are more likely to have eye-related diseases and conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Nearly two-thirds of blindness and visual impairment occurs in women, and women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are blind or visually impaired. You may be busy, on the go,and caring for your family, but it is important that you make the time to take care of you!

The National Eye Institute (NEI) reminds you to make your eye health a priority and encourages you to take five important steps to protect your sight.

-Get a dilated eye exam. Getting a comprehensive dilated
eye exam is the best way to know if your eyes are healthy and
you are seeing your best. Talk to your eye care professional
about how often you should have one.

-Live a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy foods, maintaining
a healthy weight, managing chronic conditions, and not
smoking can lower your risk of eye disease. You’ve heard
carrots are good for your eyes, but eating a diet rich in fruits
and vegetables, particularly dark leafy greens such as spinach,
kale, or collard greens, is important for keeping your eyes
healthy, too. Research has also shown there are eye health
benefits from eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as
salmon, tuna, and halibut.

-Know your family history. Talk to your family members—
including parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—about
their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has
been diagnosed with an eye disease, since many diseases are
hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk
for developing an eye disease yourself.

-Use protective eyewear. Protect your eyes when doing
chores around the house, playing sports, or on the job to
prevent eye injuries from happening. This includes wearing
safety glasses, goggles, safety shields, and eye guards that
are made of polycarbonate. Eyewear should sit comfortably
on the face, so talk to your eye care provider about the
appropriate type of protective eyewear for your sport or job.
Make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times, and
encourage your teammates and coworkers to do the same.

-Wear sunglasses. Wear sunglasses outside to protect
your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing
sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent
of both UVA and UVB radiation, so you can keep your eyes
healthy. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase your
risk for getting an eye disease like cataracts or age-related
macular degeneration. A wide-brimmed hat offers great
protection, too!

These steps can help you keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision loss and blindness from eye disease. If you think you may be suffering from eye disease or need a comprehensive eye exam contact Griffin Eye Center 843-4449-6414 or griffineyecenter.com.

To learn more about Healthy Vision Month and find additional eye health information, visit www.nei.nih.gov/hvm.