Celebrating Save Your Vision Week the Healthiest Way We Know How

There’s just something about the first week of March; maybe it’s the promise of spring in the air, the upcoming spring and summer vacations that make our day seem a little lighter, or the season of leprechauns and easter bunnies coming our way. For us, we love the first week of March because it’s the perfect time to put a little “focus” on your vision and eye health. This week is National Save Your Vision Week, and that means it’s our duty to help you save your vision — through these simple tips.

Stop Smoking

Do it for your kids. Do it for your grandkids. Do it for your ability to climb the stairs without wheezing. Do it for your eyesight. The bottom line is, if you’re still smoking, just quit! We know it’s easier said than done, but there’s never been more reason to stop your tobacco use. Your eyes, in particular will thank you for breaking the habit. Along with the many adverse effects caused or exacerbated by smoking, macular degeneration is a specific risk to you and your eyes. Smokers are more likely to develop macular degeneration than non-smokers. Smoking also puts you at risk for cataracts and glaucoma.

Wear Sunglasses

There aren’t many “healthy” choices you can make that are this much fun. Wearing sunglasses — whether they’re cheap (albeit, 100 percent UV protection) or designer, sunglasses don’t just make you look cool — they also keep your eyes protected from those harmful UVA and UVB rays. In fact, blocking the UV light from your eyes can delay development of cataracts and prevent damage to your retina. Additionally, keeping your eyelids and surrounded area shaded from the sun will help reduce those fine lines and wrinkles that tend to plague the area in later life. When you’re sunglass shopping, just make sure you choose a pair that offer 100 percent (or at least 99 percent) UVA and UVB protection.

Get an Eye Exam

So you don’t wear glasses and you have no pain or other symptoms. No need to see the eye doctor, right? WRONG. If you’ve put off seeing an eye doctor because you don’t think you “need” to, here’s your wakeup call: YOU DO! In fact, your eye doctor can pinpoint risk factors for eye diseases that you’d never notice on your own (until it’s too late). If you’re over 40 and have never had an eye disease screening, make Save Your Vision Week the time you do it! Your ophthalmologist will determine how often you’ll need an eye exam going forward, depending on your risk factors and family history.

Get to Know the Family

Speaking of family history, do you know yours? We’re not talking genealogy, we’re talking about your family’s optical health history. Many eye diseases, including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration are hereditary, so if you don’t know your family medical history, you might not even know you’re at risk. Get to know the family this week!

Use Protection

Are you an outdoor enthusiast? A wood shop junkie? A contact sports nut? Well, if you are, you should take care — of your eyes! Wearing protective eye gear, like safety glasses, goggles and helmets, is a critical part of protecting your vision longterm. With more than 2.5 million eye injuries occurring in America each year, you’ll want to make sure your baby blues (or greens or browns) aren’t one of the casualties.

Practice Good Hygiene

Wear contacts? Well, those little lenses might seem like a lifesaver, but they can also put you at risk of eye infection if not cared for correctly. If you’re sleeping in contacts, not cleaning them properly or using them long past their disposal date, you’re putting the health of your eyes at risk. Never sleep in your lenses, always soak them in approved contact solution and be sure to change them out as your eye doctor recommends.

Ready to save your vision? We can help! Making an appointment with us is the perfect way to celebrate this important week!

Advanced Vision Institute

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