May is healthy vision month, a national observance declared by the National Eye Institute in May 2003. Here are a few tips to ensuring the safety and health of your eyes:
- Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
During this eye exam, the eyes will be closely examined to detect any vision problems or changes to the eye. Dilation widens the pupil, allowing more light to enter the eye so that the eye care professional is able to see inside of the eye. Once dilated, each eye is examined using special magnifying lenses that provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, such as the retina and the optic nerve.
- Wear sunglasses.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a component of solar radiation that is very harmful to the eye. Over extended periods of time, exposure to UV radiation causes degeneration of the retina, increased risk of cataracts, or even corneal sunburn. Using proper eye protection that absorbs UV radiation to protect your eyes will significantly lower your risk of encountering any of these issues in the future. When buying sunglasses, look for those that block out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.
- Live a healthy lifestyle!
Studies have proven that eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing chronic conditions play a major role in protecting the health of our eyes. Taking these steps will help prevent vision loss or blindness from many eye diseases and conditions.