A guide to healthy vision
Thursday, April 30, 2015
As a comprehensive optometrist with Bay Care Clinic's Eye Specialists, I see patients of all ages with all types of vision issues. There are simple steps everyone can do each day to help keep their eyes healthy. The big three I try to tell all my patients, especially those at risk for eye disease, are:
- Wear UV protection outside - I call it sunscreen for the eyes
- Don’t smoke
- Eat well. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. This is for the overall health of your eyes as well as your body.
Your family tree – Family history is important in your eye health, especially when it comes to diagnosing glaucoma and macular degeneration. Generally speaking, if you have a sibling with glaucoma you are around six times more likely to get glaucoma than someone without the family history. If you have a parent with macular degeneration you can have up to a 48% chance of getting it yourself. With a genetic predisposition, it is EXTREMELY important to have routine eye exams. Many eye diseases are without symptoms in the early stages and it’s important to diagnose and treat the disease before it is too late.
Are all sunglasses protective? Most offer good protection in the current market. The one thing to look for is UV protection. Twenty years ago you would see some sunglasses without UV protection that could do more harm than good. Today in the United States, most sunglasses have UV protection, but always make sure to check before you purchase.
Never skip an eye exam! I believe yearly eye exams are important. As eye care professionals we are trying to do a better job at educating the public on this message. A lot of people go in for dental exams yearly but skip their annual eye exam. It’s worrisome given the possible consequences of not detecting an eye disease early in its course.
Is it time for your annual eye exam? Request an appointment online here or call us at 920-327-7000.
Stay in touch. Please let me know if you have any other questions in the comment section below.
Brad LaVallie, OD, is an optometrist at BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists. He received his medical education at the University of Missouri College of Optometry in St. Louis. In addition to comprehensive optometry, Dr. LaVallie’s special interests include specialty contact lens fittings, low vision evaluation and dry eye treatment.