Healthy Vision Month is a great chance to get informed about eye health and to make sure you and your family understand the importance of regular comprehensive dilated eye exams at maintaining healthy vision.

May is Healthy Vision Month and Healing The Eye is trying to inspire all Americans to make their vision a health priority. Vision disability becomes more common as people age. Women, minority groups, and individuals who have chronic diseases like diabetes might be at higher risk of having vision handicap.

Americans of 40 years and older with diabetic retinopathy and vision-threatening retinopathy will triple by 2050; from current 5.5 million to 16 million and from 1.2 million to 3.4 million respectively. While some eye problems, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), may lead to vision loss as well as blindness, others, such as refractive errors, are common problems which can be readily corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Vision health can be an important public health problem since vision loss is related to depression, social isolation, and overall poorer health. Quality of life might get compromised because people with vision loss may suffer from their daily tasks of reading, meal prep, and driving a vehicle.

Routine eye exams are crucial for good eye health as well as overall well being. A comprehensive dilated eye exam can be a painless procedure in which an eye care professional examines the eyes to look for common vision issues and eye problems, a lot that haven’t any early warning signs.

Note: People with diabetes require a comprehensive dilated eye examination at least one time a year.

Are You in Danger?

Americans agree that eyesight features a huge effect on day-to-day living and can be one of those sensations they fear losing. Regrettably, we often don’t pay attention to our eye health unless we notice an issue with them.

Some common eye diseases which may result in vision loss and blindness, for example, are diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, or even long-term macular degeneration (AMD). What’s more frightening is the fact that these diseases have no early warning signs or symptoms of their effect on our eyes.

Having regular eye exams to ensure the eyes are healthy is the least that can be done. However, the risk of vision blindness and loss is higher for some individuals based on race, ethnicity, and other socioeconomic and demographic factors.

You may possibly be at higher risk for eye disorder when you have a history of eye disease; have diabetes; are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native; or are more than 50. Some diseases affect certain populations disproportionately.

  • Glaucoma, which affects your peripheral or side vision first, is three times more common in African Americans compared to Whites. It is a major cause of blindness in African Americans.

  • Diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of blindness due to rampant diabetes, occurs more often in Hispanics/Latinos than in Whites.

  • Elderly adults are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and illnesses such as AMD, glaucoma, or cataracts. AMD is a major cause of blindness in Whites.

  • American Indians and Alaska Natives are 35% more likely to have diabetes than the typical adult in the USA, putting them at higher risk of diabetic eye disease.

Note: Early detection, timely treatment, and proper follow-up could stop vision loss and blindness.

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