As much as eating healthy and staying physically fit is important, taking good care of your eyes is also very essential.World Sight Day (WSD) is held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This is an annual event organised by WHO (World Health Organization) every year with a goal to reduce avoidable visual impairment.
- Worldwide, approximately 285 million people live with low vision and blindness and every five seconds one person in the world goes blind.
- Around 80% cases of visual impairment are treatable (60%) and/or preventable (20%) .
Stay aware of Common Eye Problems
Eye problems can range from minor issues to serious problems which can lead to permanent loss of vision.
Information on common eye problems, precautionary measures to avoid these and regular eye check-ups can can help to ensure that your eyesight is protected.
- Eye infection, dry eyes and eye inflammation can cause scratchy and watery eyes and you should go for an eye examination from a specialist to determine the cause and treat the symptoms.
- Allergic conjunctivitis causes watery, red, itchy eyes with a discharge and needs immediate medical attention.
- Cataract, the leading cause of blindness, clouds the lens of the eyes and leads to blurred/double vision, poor night vision, dull colors, glare problems and can be treated by a surgery.
- Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve which leads to vision loss, but early treatment can protect your eyes before permanent damage occurs.
- Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes progressively damaging the blood vessels of the retina and causes blindness in adults.
Other common problems include refractive errors, retinal disorders and symptoms like pain, double vision, fluid coming from the eye, and inflammation, which need immediate attention.
The only way you can deal with eye problems is by not ignoring the symptoms and seeking an opinion from a professional right away.
Protect Your Vision
Follow these simple guidelines to keep your eyes healthy:
- Get a comprehensive dilated eye exam regularly to check for common eye problems. If you are 40 or above, it’s all the more important to get your baseline evaluation even without symptoms.
- Know your family’s eye health history as many conditions are hereditary.
- Include dark leafy greens such as spinach, colorful fruits like carrots which are high in antioxidants, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna in your diet.
- Quit smoking.
- While playing sports, doing activities around the home or at work wear protective eye gear.
- When you go out, protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiations by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99% of these harmful rays.
- If you use contact lenses, practice hygiene to prevent infection.
- Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly (everyday walking) to prevent certain age-related eye conditions.
Did you know?
According to a new study, toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the delicate surface and the internal structure of the eye and increases the risk of vision loss for a smoker by 4 times when compared to a non-smoker.
- World Health Organization. Accessed Sep 30, 2015.
- Medline Plus. Accessed Sep 29, 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sep 30, 2015.