World Sight Day 2021
World Sight Day 2021 is October 14th, and the theme for this year is #LoveYourEyes. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) hosts the annual event to raise awareness of vision loss and blindness as a major health issue around the world. The goal is to educate the public about how to prevent blindness. Unfortunately, some areas of the world do not have access to vision care and preventable causes of blindness are not addressed. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. However, with cataract surgery readily available, it is not common to be blind from cataracts in the United States.
The IAPB uses the 4 P’s to better explain how to “love your eyes.” Here are some ways you can prevent, protect, preserve, and prioritize your eyes.
Trying to minimize the risk of certain eye conditions can be tricky, but leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the most beneficial things to do for the well-being of the entire body. This means eating a balanced healthy diet. Get up and move to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Don’t smoke cigarettes. Take medications as prescribed by your primary care physician to treat hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. While some genetically inherited conditions might be unavoidable, let’s all try to stay healthy and prevent what we can help control.
We can also protect our eyes to prevent sight loss injuries. Workplace safety is very important for people who work in hazardous environments with possible projectiles, metal and/or woodwork, dirty air, or chemical exposure. Wearing safety glasses decreases the chance of severe eye injury. Sun protection is crucial when outdoors for an extended amount of time, whether for work or hobbies. We also need to protect our eyes from countless hours spent on digital screens. Love your eyes by giving them a vacation from the computer, cell phone, and tablet. The 20-20-20 Rule is a quick and easy way to give your eyes a mini-break by relaxing the eye muscles and replenishing the tear film. For every 20 minutes on a digital device, look 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds. Your eyes will thank you!
Annual comprehensive eye exams can help ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of vision-threatening conditions, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. Once good eye health is established, it is important to keep it that way. Practicing good cleaning and replacement habits with contact lens usage is another positive way to preserve and love your eyes. It only takes one time of contact lens misuse to result in permanent vision loss from a contact lens-associated infection or inflammation. People who don’t wear glasses still need to have regular dilated eye exams to assess the overall health of the eyes, which is separate from one’s measured vision, or acuity.
Be sure to include yearly eye exams in your list of annual medical appointments. You only get one set of eyes, so make it your life’s mission to keep them healthy and seeing as well as possible. It is also our responsibility to educate family and friends on the importance of eyes and vision. Please don’t forget about your children’s eyes. Amblyopia and strabismus are eye conditions that need to be promptly treated during childhood to minimize the risk of permanently decreased vision. Prioritize your kid’s eyes like their future depends on it!
Do you need to schedule an eye exam for yourself or a loved one? If so, call our office (717-652-7710) or schedule online. Remember to #LoveYourEyes!