Don't Lose Sight of Your Eye Health

For many people, good vision means good eye health, but that may not always be the case. Regular eye exams can catch problems before it's too late. If you are age 40 or older and have not had a recent eye disease screening, The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends making an appointment for an eye exam. It is an essential step toward preserving vision and keeping eyes healthy and there is no better time than February — Save Your Vision Month.  

Baseline eye exam

By 2020, 43 million Americans will be at risk for significant vision loss or blindness from age-related eye diseases, such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration — an increase of more than 50 percent over the current number of Americans with these diseases. Despite the statistics, many Americans are more concerned about weight gain or back pain than they are vision loss.

The first step in preventing vision loss is to get a baseline eye exam at the age of 40. This is the age when early signs of eye disease and changes in vision may first occur. For individuals at any age with symptoms of, or at risk for, eye disease (such as those with a family history of eye disease, diabetes or high blood pressure), the Academy recommends seeing your ophthalmologist to determine how frequently your eyes should be examined. Based on the results of the initial screening, your ophthalmologist will prescribe the necessary intervals for follow-up exams.

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