Celebrate World Sight Day with the Besser Eye Team’s top tips for better vision and eye health.
World Sight Day is observed every year on the second Thursday of October. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) initiated the occasion to bring attention to issues involving eye health and safety.
To celebrate World Sight Day there are several things patients can do to improve their vision and overall eye health.
Sudden or unexpected changes in vision often signal an eye emergency. In these circumstances, patients should seek immediate assistance.
An unexpected change in vision may be a symptom of acute angle glaucoma, a retinal tear, or other serious eye conditions.
Cataracts, medical conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration, and uncorrected refractive error, can all contribute to cognitive decline.
Maintaining visual acuity helps preserve healthy brain function, especially for older patients susceptible to both visual and cognitive decline. Schedule regular visits to the ophthalmologist to address any medical issues that may threaten visual and cognitive health.
Red eyes (bloodshot eyes) can occur when someone is tired, has allergies, dry eyes, or has an infection like conjunctivitis (pink eye). These conditions prompt many patients to use redness-relieving drops to ease the discomfort. While these drops provide comfort in the moment, they do little to ensure long-term relief.
Redness relief drops reduce the appearance of redness by constricting blood vessels. This has an aesthetic effect but is clinically useless.
If a patient’s eyes feel dry, they should use lubricating eye drops. If the problem is chronic, the patient should schedule a visit with the ophthalmologist to check for ocular allergies.
Remember to take out contact lenses before bed. Sleeping with contact lenses in — even for short periods — can lead to corneal ulcers and other infections.
It can also increase the risk of eye infection up to eightfold, so patients should make removing contact lenses a part of their bedtime routine.
Doctors prescribe specific medications to specific patients because they fit that person’s unique symptoms and medical history. Patients should never assume they can use someone else’s eye medication, even if they suffer from a similar condition.
For example, a patient might use their spouse's antibiotic drops to treat red eyes. However, it may turn out the patient has a different condition, like uveitis. In this case, the antibiotic drops would not address the patient's problem and could further aggravate their condition.
Activities like sports, yard work and home improvement projects are common eye injury sources. When participating in an activity that poses a threat to the eyes, use eye shield protection.
We recommend each household have at least one pair of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) approved protective eyewear for sports, chores, and any other activity that puts pointed objects near the face.
While using sunblock to protect their skin is a common practice, many patients don’t take the proper precautions to protect their eyes from the sun. UV radiation can damage the eye’s surface tissue, cornea, and lens.
Too much UV exposure also puts people at greater risk for conditions like cataracts, pterygiums (growths on the eye), and eye cancer. Protective eyewear helps preserve vision over time and prevents growths like pterygia from forming in the eyes.
Before purchasing a pair of glasses, check the UV rating. For the most protection, select a pair that provides 100% UV or UV400 protection or one that blocks both UV-A and UV-B rays.
Frequent checkups lead to strong vision and eye health. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends adults have a complete eye exam once in their twenties and twice in their thirties. Patients with contact lenses, a family history of eye disease, and other eye conditions should plan more frequent visits.
At the age of 40, all patients should receive a complete eye exam. This is when many age-related eye conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma, begin to appear. Older patients over 65 years old should have an exam every year or two.
Eye conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma are hereditary. If someone in a patient’s family has a history of one of these diseases, they should be particularly vigilant about getting eye screenings.
Diseases like glaucoma have serious repercussions, but the most devastating effects can be minimized with early diagnosis and treatment.
Eye health goes beyond regular visits to the ophthalmologist. World Sight Day reminds us that eye health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy choices like proper nutrition, regular exercise, disease screening, and safety prevention contribute to better eye health and provide a foundation for a healthy balanced lifestyle.
We’d like to wish you a happy World Sight Day on behalf of everyone on the Besser eye care team. If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our Culver City office.
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