According to WHO, there are 285 million people who are visually impaired worldwide, of which 39 million are blind. Of these, 82% are over the age of 50, and cataracts account for the most common cause of blindness. World Sight Day, which falls on the second Thursday of October, and Blindness Awareness Month both focus on bringing awareness that 80% of the causes of blindness are preventable. Globally, more than 1 billion people cannot see well because they do not have access to glasses.
How can you protect your vision from preventable eye conditions?
- An annual eye exam or dilated eye exam can catch eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts. Early detection allows for treatment that can slow or lessen the progression of these eye conditions.
- Correct refractive errors; myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia. Though refractive errors cannot be prevented, once diagnosed, they can be corrected. In addition to cataracts, uncorrected refractive errors account for the most common cause of vision impairment and blindness.
- Quit smoking! Quitting or avoiding smoking may reduce your risk of developing such eye diseases as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, or glaucoma.
- A healthy diet and active lifestyle can lower your risk of developing diabetes, which can lead to diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma.
Taking care of your health, scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional, and correcting refractive errors will help you protect your vision now and for the future.Oct 20, 2020