Did you know your eyes can detect about 10 million unique colors? Or that your eyeballs stay the same size from birth to death? Or that they’re composed of more than 2 million working parts?
As fascinating as they are, your eyes can sometimes be compromised.
Of course, some things are outside of your control: As you get older, parts of your body begin to wear down. Family history or genetics might also play a role.
When it comes to saving your vision, though, you have options and opportunities to improve your outlook.
2 Common Eye Diseases and 3 Simple Ways to Save Your Vision from Them
First, let’s consider some of the most common vision ailments – cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. More than 200,000 cases are reported for each in the U.S. each year.
- A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which affects your ability to focus.
- Age-related macular degeneration is brought on by age, and mostly affects those who are 60 or older. It causes loss in the center of field of vision. Two types include dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. With dry, the center of the retina deteriorates. With wet, leaky blood vessels grow under the retina.
A few ways to save your vision include:
- Wear UV-protection glasses. You can lessen your chances of cataracts by wearing glasses that protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) light. Not only does this apply to UV light from the sun, but also to blue light from computer screens and other electronic devices.
- Eat a healthy diet. Diets containing vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA can help prevent age-related macular degeneration.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can increase chances of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
You’ll also want to schedule a regular comprehensive eye exam at least once a year.
Why Regular Eye Exams Are Important
During a regular eye exam, your eye doctor checks for common eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Whereas cataracts can be treated, age-related macular degeneration can’t be cured, though treatment can help. The earlier it can be detected, the better.
But your eye doctor does more than just detect for those two diseases.
Some of the benefits of regular eye exams include:
- Your eye doctor can make sure everything’s in working order. Your eye doctor might look at how your eyes work together, how well you can make out objects near or far from you and how well your eyes can focus.
- Your doctor can monitor eye changes. A once-a-year visit can detect small changes in your eyes. This can prevent eye problems before they become major issues.
- Your doctor can also monitor your children’s eyes. Your children may not be aware what 20/20 vision looks like. Consequently, they might not report any issues with seeing. Your eye doctor can diagnose their vision problems before those problems begin to interfere with important aspects of their life, like school performance.
Take Control of Your Vision Today
March is National Save Your Vision Month, a designation from the American Optometric Association. This year, the organization is promoting awareness around digital eye strain and the importance of receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams from a doctor of optometry.
Your eyes are a window to the world, and your vision is precious. By practicing a good eye care routine and scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor once a year, you can expect to maintain your good vision!