May—Tip of the Month
We all know that good health is important. More and more, Canadians are trying to exercise regularly and make healthier food choices. But we tend to forget about eye health since, for many of us, seeing comes naturally. May is Vision Health Month—a great time to think about check-ups, healthy eyes, and vision loss prevention.
Visits to eye care professionals give them an opportunity to check eyes for symptoms of disease or illness that we cannot see or notice on our own (e.g., glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration). Regular check-ups are particularly important if you have a history of eye disease, diabetes, or other health concerns. But remember, only you can know what you see. If you experience any changes to your vision, including blurriness or seeing spots, make an appointment with an eye care professional as soon as possible. If you are confused about who to see, an optometrist is typically the first point of contact for vision assessments. If needed, your optometrist can refer you to another eye care specialist. Find an optometrist through the Canadian Association of Optometrists.
Healthy lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, are beneficial to your overall health but they can also play a role in your eye health. Smoking and diets high in fats and low in nutrients can increase your risk of eye disease—by as many as three or four times! Balanced diets, exercise, and going smoke-free can prevent or slow vision problems, while protecting your eyes from sunlight and foreign objects is an easy way to prevent eye damage. Exposure to sunlight is associated with a higher risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts, so don’t forget those sunglasses! (Did you know? People with light-coloured eyes don’t have the same protective pigments as those with darker eyes. This can leave light eyes more susceptible to the sun’s rays.) Also, protective eyewear is the way to go when playing sports or working with power tools. It only takes a second for an eye injury to occur, so keep yours nice and safe!
These simple tips can help prevent eye disease and vision loss. Make caring for your eyes a priority to help keep the windows to your soul healthy now and in the future.
Ingle’s Tip of the Month was provided by Jillian Wayne, Health Information Specialist, Novus Health (part of the Ingle Group of Companies)
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