Staying healthy includes caring for eyes
by: Molly Yatso Butz
Your eyes are a very important part of your overall health, and there are many things you can do to keep them healthy and seeing their best. The World Health Organization estimates that throughout the world, 2.6 percent of people are visually impaired and 0.6 percent are blind. This means more than 310 million people are visually impaired and more than 45 million people are blind worldwide. However, one thing many people do not realize is that 85 percent of all visual impairment in the world can be avoided. “While cataracts and even refractive error (the need for glasses) are the leading cause of ‘avoidable blindness’ worldwide, here in the U.S., diabetes and macular degeneration are the most common cause of new cases of vision loss. They can be quite treatable when caught early,” said Dr. Amy Treichel-Brandt, OD, Aurora Health Care.
People should have routine comprehensive dilated eye exams to be sure their eyes are healthy and that they are seeing as well as possible. During this exam, eyedrops are used to dilate the pupil to allow more light to enter the eye, and make it easier for the eye care professional to look at the back of the eyes and examine them for damage or disease. Many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration have no warning signs, and are only picked up at this time. “As with many health problems, early detection is key,” said Treichel-Brandt.
It is important to know your family’s eye health history. Treichel-Brandt says, “It is especially important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition that is hereditary such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, lazy eye and diabetes……..
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Source: The Northwestern