May is Healthy Vision Month. To observe this event, the National Eye Institute (NEI) shares with us some tips on how to promote eye health.
Why do we need to promote eye health? According to NEI:
“An estimated 14 million Americans are visually impaired. This number is expected to grow significantly as our nation ages and age-related eye diseases become more common. Many blinding eye diseases have no warning signs or symptoms, so people may not notice anything is wrong with their vision. In fact, 11 million people in the United States have uncorrected visual impairment, such as nearsightedness, and could benefit from eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve their vision.”
However, early detection through an eye exam can prevent unnecessary vision impairment and loss. But not just any eye exam. NEI recommends a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The test occurs in several steps. The first step is to dilate the pupils using special eye drops. The eye doctor then examines the retina and the optic nerve, now easily visible due the dilated pupils using a special magnifying glass. In addition, other tests are also conducted such as tonometry, visual field test, and visual acuity test.
For the month of May, NEI offers the opportunity available for LIVE interviews with an expert. On Wednesday, May 12, 2010 Emily Y. Chew, M.D., deputy director of the NEI’s Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications is available for questions and discussions from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT. Some of the topics that Dr. Chew will touch on are:
Why Healthy Vision Month was created
- · Why is it important to get a dilated eye exam?
- · What are the leading causes of blindness in the U.S.?
- · What are the most common vision problems?
- · What symptoms should I look for?
- · How are minorities affected by vision problems?
- · Why it is important to know if anyone in your family has an eye disease or condition?
- · Why do women experience many common vision problems more than men?
- · How can I find an eye care professional?
- · How can I find financial assistance for eye care?
Other resources you might want to check out: