May is a celebratory month–it’s got Mother’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, and Memorial Day, but did you know that it’s also the month to celebrate to appreciate your eyes?
May is Healthy Vision Month, which was created to raise awareness about ocular health problems and how important early detection and treatment can prevent various diseases from affecting your vision.
Although it’s arguably the most important sense humans possess, too many people take it for granted and fail to get the proper care. Just like the rest of the human body, the eyes need to be examined and checked to ensure that they’re protected, cared for, and working properly.
Yet, there’s a gross underestimation of just how much preventive care the eyes need. According to a survey from the Canadian Association of Optometrists, more than 60% of Canadian parents feel that they’d know if their child had a vision problem.
“Given the fact that most childhood vision problems don’t have any symptoms, it’s the wrong way to kind of think about it,” says Doctor of Optometry Deidre MacDonnel. “They really need to be seen whether we have concerns or not.”
The same is true with adults, too. According to a CDC survey, a huge number of people forgo their annual trip to the eye doctor because of the cost; because their health insurance doesn’t cover optometry; because they don’t think they have any eye problems; or because there isn’t an optometrist close enough.
It’s for reasons like these that the National Eye Institute is encouraging peoples everywhere to make the health of their eyes a priority during healthy vision month.
To better protect your vision, it’s advised that you should have a dilated eye exam, learn about your family history of eye problems, wear sunglasses and other protective eyewear, and eat more healthy choices.
“Studies have found that frequent use of sunglasses significantly improves eye health over a lifetime. Sunglasses protect from UV rays as well as eye injury,” says Craig from The Sunglass Fix. “They can also help protect us from macular degeneration, wrinkles, eye strain, and other eye related health issues that can occur over time.”