May is Healthy Vision Month and that makes it a great time to talk about healthy eyes and the ways in which you can combat vision loss. There are four important steps you can take to maintain healthy vision:
Have an expert eye exam: The early stages of many eye diseases can be detected in an eye exam. That is why it is important for you to have a thorough eye exam on a regular basis. Glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are just some of the eye diseases that can be picked up through a comprehensive, dilated eye exam.
Protect your eyes: It pays to protect your eyes in situations where your eyes could be hit or pierced by an object. Sports, home improvements, sawing wood, working with glass and similar situations require protective eyewear. Make sure that your children wear protective eyewear when participating in sports. The best safety shields, goggles and eye guards are made of polycarbonate.
Know your family history: Just like it is important to know your family history for heart disease, it is important to know your family history regarding eye health. Ask your closest relatives if anyone in the family has been diagnosed with an eye disease. Some of them are hereditary and if you have this information you will know your risk and can seek early diagnosis and treatment.
Wear sunglasses: Your eyes will feel better and be healthier if you wear sunglasses. The best ones block out 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B radiation. Look for that designation on the sunglasses’ label.
Be healthy: Keeping yourself healthy will help your eyes to be healthy. If you are overweight or obese and you may be at risk of developing diabetes, a disease that can cause vision loss through diabetic eye disease or glaucoma. Smoking is bad for your eyes and will increase your risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and even nerve damage in the eye which can lead to vision loss and blindness.
If you do have vision loss, we can help.
Unfortunately, many eye diseases cause vision loss. The good news is that innovative medical devices make it possible to live a normal active life with vision loss. They enhance functioning vision and make it possible to see the faces of loved ones, participate in hobbies, watch TV and in some cases, drive. Some of the new technology that is making this possible includes:
NuEyes helps our legally blind patients to see. The technology functions just like an Android tablet and is worn as a pair of glasses. NuEyes offer magnification up to 12x, voice recognition technology and Bluetooth control. They offer contrast enhancement of print and can be customized with prescription lenses. It is small, compact and very powerful.
eSight also allows the legally blind to see. We like eSight technology because it gives wearers the freedom to use their sight in any way they choose, manipulating the image in a way that suits their purposes.
Other advances include custom telescope and microscope glasses that help to assist individuals with Macular Degeneration, Stargardt’s Disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa, and Diabetic Retinopathy. Scientific advances to address low vision that are still in development include artificial retinas, nano-implants, and iStent.
We will continue to tell you about these pioneering devices and treatments as they become available on the market. All of them are improving low vision for people who previously were told that nothing more could be done to enhance their eyesight. If you have been told that, come see us. We help to enhance low vision for our patients every day.