It’s a new year, and people are starting to see January 2023 in a whole new light. However, before you start locking down your goals for the year ahead, you might want to add one more resolution to your list: having your eyesight checked. As we observe National Eye Care Month, it's important to bring awareness to a common but often overlooked eye disease, glaucoma. This disease is one of the most common causes of legal blindness in the world. Patients almost never have any symptoms such as loss of peripheral vision, until it’s too late. This doesn’t have to happen to you – here are some ways to prevent vision loss:
Get regular eye exams Regularly getting an eye exam that checks for glaucoma can allow your doctor to diagnose glaucoma early. Early glaucoma can usually be treated with just eye drops. Advanced glaucoma (usually in someone who doesn’t get regular eye exams) may require more extensive treatments such as surgery or laser treatment. Risk factors for glaucoma include diabetes, race, age, family history, and certain medications. An eye exam is recommended every 2 years for patients 40-60 years old, but more often if there are certain risk factors. Anyone age 60 or older should get their eyes checked every year.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle Experts say that eating leafy green vegetables and colorful fruits every day will protect your body and your eyes. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood pressure, being physically active, and avoiding smoking will help your eyes.
Wear sunglasses Sunglasses are a great way to make a fashion statement – AND to protect your eyes from excessive ultraviolet light from the sun. Too much UV exposure can damage your retina and cause lasting vision loss.
Glaucoma cannot be cured. However, If you have been diagnosed with the condition, you’ll need regular checkups with your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of most glaucoma mean your vision may never be affected.
National Eye Care Month is a good time to think about the state of your vision. Capital Health Plan offers comprehensive eye exams, treatment of eye diseases, and minor eye surgeries by our board-certified optometrists at these two locations:
2312 Centerville Place, Tallahassee, FL
1491 Governor's Square Boulevard, Tallahassee, FL
Call 850-383-3322 to make an appointment.