August is here and although the summer is shortly coming to an end, the UV Rays are still high and it’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself from the sun.
August is National Eye Exam Month, a month dedicated to the importance of eye health and safety. Sears Optical founded National Eye Exam Month in 1989 and since then, most ophthalmologists promote eye safety throughout the month. Most sponsor Eye Care America, a campaign for seniors ages 65 and up that can qualify for a free eye exam.
You may think you have healthy eyes and have no symptoms of vision problems, but if you are between the ages of 40 and 65, you should have your vision checked every 2-4 years; and at 65+, every 1-2 years. Some individuals may have a family history of eye disease or a chronic illness that can affect your vision. This puts you at a greater risk of vision problems, and therefore it is vital that you get your eyes checked more often than most.
Seniors are prone to blurred vision, eye irritation and more. Symptoms like this occur because the muscles in the eye become weaker. Consult your doctor if you experience:
- Blurred vision with glasses
- Extremely sensitive to light
- Consistent eye pain
- Red eyes
- Burning sensation
- Constant watering
- Black spots in sight
Although seniors are more prone to eye issues, there are ways they can protect themselves and prevent long-term issues.
- When washing your face, use a clean towel and water to wipe the lid are to prevent infection
- Do not use others eye medication or glasses
- NO Smoking!!
- Be sure to get a healthy amount of rest
- Consume Vitamin A and proteins (nuts are perfect!)
- Do not use sprays (i.e. hairspray) close to the eyes
- When watching TV, on the computer and/or reading, be sure to have good lighting, take short breaks to rest the eyes and make sure the print is large and clear
- Do not read in a moving vehicle or bed
- Use UV protected sunglasses
Not only is August National Eye Exam Month, but it is also Cataracts Awareness Month. People over the age of 55 should be very cautious of Cataracts, an eye disease that clouds the lens of the eyes and can lead to vision loss. Those who have Cataracts Disease may experience, extremely blurry vision, a glare, colors that may appear faded and double vision.
To educate you more on this disease, the American Academy of Ophthalmology sponsors awareness sessions and information workshops during the month of August. For more information, be sure to contact your ophthalmologist or visit AAO.org.
If you would like to receive a free eye exam, check EyeCare America to see if you qualify. For more information, please visit EyeCareAmerica.org.