May is Healthy Vision Month
Healthy Vision Month is a great time to make sure you and your family understand the importance of regular comprehensive dilated eye exams in maintaining healthy vision.
Early detection and timely treatment of eye disease are key to preventing vision loss and blindness. Many people who are at risk for vision loss do not know it and may have undetected vision problems and eye diseases.
Are You At Risk?
Many common eye diseases that can lead to vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic eye disease, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), often have no early warning signs or symptoms.
Having regular eye exams to make sure your eyes are healthy and seeing their best is important. However, there is a higher risk of vision loss and blindness for some people based on race, ethnicity, and other demographic and socioeconomic factors.
You may be at higher risk for eye disease if you have a family history of eye disease; have diabetes; are African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, or Alaska Native; or are over 50 years old.
- Glaucoma, which affects your side or peripheral vision first, is three times more common in African Americans. It is a leading cause of blindness in African Americans.
- Diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness caused by uncontrolled diabetes, occurs more often in Hispanics/Latinos.
- American Indians and Alaska Natives are 35 percent more likely to have diabetes than the average adult in the United States. This puts them at increased risk of diabetic eye disease.
- Older adults are at higher risk of developing age-related eye diseases and conditions such as AMD, glaucoma, or cataracts.
A healthy diet, not smoking, and wearing protective eyewear, in addition to having regular eye exams, are just a few other things you can do to protect your sight.