Are you worried about losing your vision?
You’re not alone. According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) American Eye-Q® survey, 46 percent of consumers indicate eyesight is the sense they worry most about losing.
Age plays a major factor when caring for vision. The Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA) recommends that consumers take the following steps to help keep their eyes as healthy as possible:
1. Adults should have eye exams annually, or as recommended by an eye doctor. Children should have their first eye assessment between six to 12 months of age, then again at age three, and again before starting school (unless an eye condition requires more frequent assessment).
2. Eyes are generally healthy in people in their 20s and 30s. At this age it’s important to take proactive steps to protect eyesight, such as quitting smoking, eating food rich in key nutrients, and protecting eyes from UV rays.
3. Around age 40, people often begin to notice vision changes, such as difficulty seeing while reading or doing close work. In addition to following healthy habits like eating right and exercising, patients in their 40s should be knowledgeable about eye diseases that run in their family, and should discuss these with their optometrist.
4. Computer vision syndrome is a condition caused by prolonged use of a computer screen and can cause problems such as dry eye, eyestrain, headaches, neck and/or backaches, light sensitivity and fatigue. The OOPA recommends that all Americans practice the “20-20-20 rule” (every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away).
5. Baby Boomers and seniors should take note of any vision changes, including: gradual loss of central or peripheral vision; distorted vision or loss of color vision; and dim, blurry, cloudy or foggy vision. If they experience any of these symptoms, they should schedule an appointment with their optometrist immediately because age-related eye diseases and disorders may lead to permanent vision loss.
The Oregon Optometric Physicians Association (OOPA) recommends annual eye exams and offers tips in recognition of Save Your Vision Month
By Dr. Kirsten Scott, OD, is a member of the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association. She practices in Bend and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-382-5701.