A Healthy Future: A Guide to World Blindness Awareness Month
Recognizing the significance of World Blindness Awareness Month means acknowledging the millions across the globe grappling with visual challenges or complete blindness. EyeCare Associates recognizes how important this issue is in Alabama, and we’re committed to highlighting the struggles these individuals face. You also need to understand how to prevent vision loss. Look deeper into blindness and see how it can affect your life.
Blindness means that somebody is entirely unable to see. That said, it’s easy to forget the impact this has on people’s everyday lives. Complete blindness prevents people from being able to see their loved ones, watch TV shows, read through books, and so much more. Not only are fun activities affected, but everyday movements and needs are too. It can be nearly impossible to be independent, mobile, and have access to education and employment if you’re blind. Because life can be made so much more difficult with severe or complete vision loss, it’s common to have very poor emotional well-being.
As you can tell from its name, diabetic retinopathy comes from diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects the blood vessels in the retina and is caused by high blood sugar levels. If not treated, your vessels can grow abnormally, leak, and swell. This condition usually affects both of your eyes. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause some vision loss and even complete blindness.
Cataracts are when your eye's lenses become clouded, and light can’t go through your lens as needed. Since light isn’t getting through, your vision becomes hazy, blurry, and unfocused. Cataracts are one of the most common causes of vision impairment worldwide. They worsen over time if not treated and typically stem from aging, exposure to UV radiation, or underlying health conditions. Diabetes is a common cause of cataracts.
Blunt force trauma or getting your eyes penetrated by an object can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. You should be especially careful if you play sports or work with machinery. Physical eye damage can cause temporary damage, or it can cause permanent vision loss. It can also lead to eye pain and discomfort.
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. It is commonly called “the silent thief of sight” because its symptoms develop slowly and often go unnoticed. It happens because of increased pressure inside the eye. Somebody might initially lose peripheral vision before losing central vision. If not treated properly, you can lose all vision. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness across the globe. Your eye doctor can detect glaucoma in its early stages during eye exams.
As obvious as it may seem, living a healthy lifestyle will improve your body and vision health. Not only is being active essential but so is eating the right foods. A diet full of vitamins A, C, and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids can help your eyes dramatically. Some great food options are leafy greens, carrots, citrus fruits, and fish.
Being outside and active is great for our health, but being outside also means being exposed to harmful UV rays. If UV ray exposure builds up too much, it can speed up cataract development and other dangerous eye conditions. You should protect your eyes outside, no matter the weather. You should pay special attention to wearing sunglasses if it’s very sunny outside. For the best protection, you must wear sunglasses that block 100% UVA and UVB rays.
Safety glasses, goggles, or helmets with face shields are the best way to prevent physical eye injuries. Protecting your eyes when doing physical labor or playing sports is crucial. It might seem simple, but wearing protective eyewear usually needs to be remembered. If you’re playing sports or working with others, encourage them to protect their eyes with glasses or goggles.
Chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are leading causes of severe eye conditions. If you take care of your hypertension correctly, it can limit the risk of hypertensive retinopathy. Other eye diseases can be diminished by taking care of your high blood pressure. If you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels is paramount in preventing diabetic retinopathy and other diseases.
The key to preventing blindness is to schedule comprehensive eye exams regularly. Regular comprehensive eye check-ups are essential no matter what. Whether or not you have “perfect” vision, seeing an eye doctor regularly is very important. Eye doctors can catch early signs of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and several other diseases during eye exams. If we find these issues early, we can treat them before they become more severe.
Vision loss and permanent blindness are issues all over the world, and there is a lot we can do to prevent the issue from getting worse. Our dedicated team at EyeCare Associates is here to get you the help you need to prevent permanent blindness and other vision ailments. Contact us today if you want more info about World Blindness Awareness Month.
We have locations all across Alabama. No matter where you are in the state, quality eye care and comprehensive eye exams are always close! Reach out now to schedule an appointment at EyeCare Associates so you can start focusing on your eye health.
Not only can you get sunglasses from EyeCare Associates, but you can also invest in prescription sunglasses from us. With prescription sunglass lenses, you can improve your vision, protect your eyes, and make a fashion statement simultaneously.