Eye HealthLifestyle Topics
Smoking and AMD
Smoking increases the risk of developing macular degeneration—quit smoking to help keep your eyes healthy.
Wait on Cataract Surgery?
An eyeglass prescription change may be all you need to improve your vision with early-stage cataracts.
Protect your sight every day
Wear a hat and sunglasses year round to prevent UV damage to your eyes.
Cozy Home Causing Dry Eye?
In winter, when indoor heating is in use, a humidifier or a pan of water on the radiator adds moisture to dry air.
Block Eye Allergies
Outside when pollen counts are high? Sunglasses or eyeglasses can help prevent pollen from getting in your eyes.
What Is an Ophthalmologist?
Are You Fit at 40?
A baseline eye exam is recommended at age 40, when the signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur.
Federal Legislation Improves Tracking, Diagnosis and Treatment
A measure signed into law in early 2008 will improve the ability of the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administrations to treat those serving on active duty who have suffered serious eye injuries. The legislation, passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act, will establish a Center of Excellence within the DoD to improve the tracking, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for service members who have incurred eye injuries while serving on active duty.
The legislation requires ophthalmologists in the DoD to report surgeries or other procedures to the registry within 30 days. Information relating to additional treatments, surgical procedures and eventual visual outcomes would be accessible by the DoD ophthalmologist who initially treated the patient, as well as any future ophthalmologist in the VA.
In addition to eye injuries, the registry will also cover blast injuries with visual symptoms. Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is a potential location for the Center of Excellence, which will act as a central resource. The measure passed by Congress does not currently provide for funding for the center or registry.
Between October 2001 and June 2006, more than 1,000 service members with combat-related eye trauma were evacuated from overseas military operations, making serious ocular injuries one of the most common types of injury experienced by service members serving in the Middle East. Many combat eye injuries require multiple surgical procedures and treatments at several facilities.
A significant number of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are also experiencing vision impairment caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI); some 54 percent of soldiers treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who have traumatic brain injuries are reporting vision problems. As much as 16 percent of all soldiers returning from Iraq are experiencing significant vision dysfunction problems.