Everyone values their sight, but too often we take our healthy sight for granted and don’t recognize the impact of vision loss until it is too late. Taking simple steps – like scheduling regular eye exams and wearing the right eyewear – can impact your healthy sight for a lifetime. Make sure you and your family are making the most of your vision today and protecting it for tomorrow.
Vision problems can affect anyone, but certain groups are more likely to develop eye- and overall-health issues that can take a serious toll on their vision and quality of life. Factors such as your ethnic background and age can put you at higher risk for different vision problems.
As a younger adult, you may have trouble seeing up-close or far away if you've put off visiting the eye doctor. Make sure you are keeping your prescription up to date, and even if you think you are seeing 20/20, get a regular eye exam to keep your eyes healthy. You only have one pair of eyes, so make sure you take care of them. Factors like spending time in the sun without protecting your eyes can cause problems later in life.
Around age 40, most people begin to have trouble seeing up-close. If you're using readers, you may not be seeing your best. Or, if you've worn glasses or contacts for a while, your prescription may be out-of-date. No matter what your age, you need to protect and take care of your eyes with regular eye exams and protection from the sun's UV rays.
Many serious, sight-stealing diseases become more common later in life. As someone over the age of 60, you are at increased risk for eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. You're also more likely to develop overall health issues like diabetes and hypertension that can affect eye health. Regular eye exams can catch problems early, and early detection means better management.
With an average of one in four children having an undetected vision problem that can interfere with the ability to read and learn, proper eye care and eyewear are critical to performance inside the classroom and in your child’s everyday life. Regular eye exams are critical to your child’s healthcare and should be scheduled as regularly as doctor and dentist appointments.
Vision Problems, such as trouble seeing up close or far away, often first develop during childhood, affecting more than one in four school-aged children. Untreated vision problems can cause difficulty reading, trouble seeing the chalkboard, decreased performance in school, frustration, redness or tearing of the eyes and headaches.
Eye Development Problems can also occur during childhood. Most can be corrected, but only if caught early. Common problems among children include lazy eye or crossed eyes.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among school-aged children. Today, nearly 1 out of 3 kids in the U.S. is overweight or at risk for becoming overweight – putting them in danger for developing diabetes. Studies show that diabetic retinopathy – which is caused by damage to the retina over time – progresses faster in children, making regular eye care a must for kids with diabetes.
UV Exposure can be extra damaging to kids' developing eyes. Kids also spend more time outdoors than adults – getting three times the sun exposure – yet are twice as likely to wear sunscreen as they are sunglasses. Because UV damage builds over time, it is important that kids begin protecting their eyes at an early age by wearing photochromic or sun lenses outdoors.
Eye Injuries occur to more than 13,000 children between the ages of 5 and 14 every year. An estimated 90 percent are preventable. Impact-resistant lens materials can help reduce risks.
Healthy sight is important throughout all ages and stages of life. Proper vision care and vision wear should be established in childhood, when a lifetime of learning begins. As we grow older, each of us develops unique personal, occupational, social, medical and recreational visual needs. Seniors can benefit from regular, comprehensive eye exams even if they aren’t experiencing trouble with vision, as they can uncover problems before symptoms occur and can even assist in early detection of other serious health problems – including diabetes or high blood pressure.
Despite their higher risks, less than four out of 10 African Americans had an eye exam within the past year. Additionally, only 7% of African Americans know that extended exposure to the sun (a risk for cataract) can damage the eyes. And, research shows that African Americans are the most likely demographic group to say they do nothing to protect their eyes from the sun.
Despite their higher risk for myopia, Asian Americans are the least likely demographic group to make an eye appointment when having trouble seeing far away. They are also the most likely to believe that wearing eyeglasses can make their vision get worse.
Despite their higher risks, just four out of 10 Hispanics have had an eye exam within the past year. Additionally, only 3.7% of Hispanics know that UV can damage their eyes.
Just 35% of Caucasian Americans had an eye exam within the past year. Additionally, only one in 10 know that extended exposure to the sun can damage the eyes.
Transitions Optical offers several eye health resources – available to you free-of-charge.
Transitions Optical offers several Spanish-language and bilingual eye health resources – available to you free-of-charge.
This information is brought to you by Transitions Cultural ConnectionsTransitions Cultural Connections
Blurred VisionVision problems can cause difficulty reading, trouble seeing the blackboard, frustration or low self-esteem, redness or tearing of the eyes and headaches.
GlareGlare is caused by bright light, either from the sun or an artificial source (like car headlights). Reflections off of objects (like a computer screen) or eyeglass lenses themselves can also be distracting, reducing vision and causing eye fatigue.
CataractsA cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens. Of the 20 million people with cataracts, an estimated 20% may be due to UV.